Art
'3 Nécessités Pour Une Émergence' by Abdoulaye Diallo. Photo courtesy of artist.

The Shepherd of Ngor Island Is the Senegalese Artist Fusing Numbers & Codes to Tell the World to Wake Up

We stopped by Abdoulaye Diallo's exhibition at the 2018 Dak'Art Biennale for a walkthrough of his work.

Abdoulaye Diallo, better known as Le Berger de L'ile de Ngor or "The Shepherd of Ngor Island," is an artist who has produced work in a notable red house on the Senegalese island since December 2011. A telecommunications engineer by trade, the retired 65 year old now finds solace in painting.

Normally to visit Diallo, you take a trip to his workshop, but this May he brought himself to others. For this year's Dak'Art Biennale, Diallo displayed his exhibition, Quelle humanité pour demain? (What Humanity for Tomorrow?) at Dakar University's Cheikh Anta Diop Library and has been viewed by over 4,300 guests. The setting was purposeful. Diallo chose to place his thought-provoking works in a place discernible for its furnishing of young minds.


The exhibition was a mosaic of fresh colors filled with both the real and the abstract. Diallo took special care in helping guide visitors like myself through it. I journeyed with the artist through earth in its current state, its past and apprehensions he has for our future, alongside a group of college students.

By Abdoulaye Diallo. Photo courtesy of artist.


He offered great wisdom and often when he spoke, the messages he attempted to transmit could be described as nothing less than otherworldly. He examined society's relationship with politics, technology, climate change, terrorism and ethics. He asked that we do the same. We meditated on how the West imposes itself on the rest of the world and slowly destroys it. We spoke of the evolution of technology and artificial intelligence and how the two would jeopardize life as we know it. We spoke of what climate change will do for future generations. We spoke of the appearance of repetitive numbers in both his life and Nelson Mandela's.

As myself and students from the university strolled along and discussed his oeuvres, it became very apparent he has an affinity for numbers and codes. It became apparent his sizable canvases are full of symbolism that can not always be caught at first glance. It also became apparent he exudes the confidence of a da Vinci as he stated and rejected the notion that he's been compared to Picasso despite being a novice painter.

Diallo poured his passion into this exhibition and effortlessly transformed the abstract into something concrete for his viewers. Despite a late start in the arts, he possesses an analytical mind and inspiring aesthetic that will surely take him far.

Audrey Lang is an alumna of Northeastern University and a Boston-based site merchandiser. A surveyor of life who's enamored with all things fashion, art and Africa, keep up with her on Instagram and Tumblr.

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Image courtesy of the artist.

In 'Aba Women Riot' Nigerian Artist, Fred Martins, Reinterprets a Groundbreaking Moment In African History

In a new series of prints, the artist celebrates 'the women who lend their voices and stood strong against the oppression of Africans.'

March marks Women's History Month, and for African women, one event that epitomizes the will and tenacity within our community is the Aba Women's Riot, also known as The Women's War of 1929, in which thousands of predominantly Igbo women in eastern Nigeria mobilized to challenge British colonial rule and the barriers placed on women's civic life.

This paradigm-shifting moment in history is the center of the latest series from Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins, who began conceptualizing "Aba Women Riot" in 2019, while reflecting on the invaluable contributions women have made throughout history. "I reflected on the power of femininity and how it has affected history on every stage and era of human civilization," said the artist in a statement.

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"Zion 9, 2018" (inkjet on Hahnemuhle photo rag)" by Mohau Modisakeng. Photo courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

South African Artist Mohau Modisakeng Makes Solo NYC Debut With 'A Promised Land'

The artist will present the video installation 'ZION' and other works centering on the "global history of displacement of Black communities" at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Brooklyn.

Renowned South African visual artist Mohau Modisakeng presents A Promised Land, his latest solo exhibition, opening at Brooklyn's Jenkins Johnson Gallery this month. This marks the New York debut of Modisakeng's ZION video installation, based on the artists's 2017 performance art series by the same name. It originally debuted at the Performa Biennial.

"In ZION the artist deals with the relationship between body, place and the global history of displacement of Black communities," reads a press release. "There is an idea that all people are meant to belong somewhere, yet in reality there are millions of people who are unsettled, in search of refuge, migrating across borders and landscapes for various reasons."

In addition to the video, the show also features seven large-scale photographs that communicate themes of Black displacement. From 19th century Black settlements in New York City, which as the press release notes, were eradicated to clear space for the development of Central Park, to the scores of Africans who have faced conflict that has led them to life as refugees in foreign lands.

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8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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