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"The Short Century. Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945 - 1994"
2001-05-18 until 2001-07-29
House of World Cultures
Berlin, , DE Germany

From May 18 to July 29, 2001,the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of the World Cultures) will be showing the exhibition The Short Century.Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945 - 1994 in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. The exhibition is curated by Okwui Enwezor,artistic director of Documenta 11. With this exhibition, Okwui Enwezor encompasses the many faces of African Modernism and redefines Africa's place in the annals of 20th century history. The Short century documents the history of Africa since its partition in 1884/85 during the Berlin conference.The exhibition centers on the short century of liberation from colonialism from 1945 to the abolition of apartheid in 1994.

The interdisciplinary approach of the exhibition links historical documents with contemporary artistic standpoints, and confronts the creations of colonial and anti-colonial propaganda - film and photography, but also poster art, print media and textiles - from both private collections and government archives. This exhibition means that unique examples of regional artistic currents, from the Egyptian awakening to South African resistance art can now be seen in Germany for the first time. Architecture and town planning are shown here as an expression of a new, collective self-confidence manifest in the young African states.

The exhibits show personal and collective self-representations of an Africa undergoing urbanisation which is in constant dialogue with the major cities of Europe and North America due to its artists and intellectuals living abroad. Official representations of history are reframed by private pieces of memorabilia: family albums, shrines to memory, memoirs, fashions in dress and popular music take their place alongside traditional art and revolutionary kitsch.


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