Africa keeps drawing my attention, perhaps because it remains a mysterious continent, far from our way of life, while at the same time being a vehicle of change and surprises. I recently talked about the African women who are gaining a place on the political scene, but also micro-credit as an ideal form of financing to support local development.
Art in Africa also has a story to tell. In Senegal at the moment, Dak’Art 2012, the tenth edition of the African art Biennale is drawing to a close in Dakar. The theme of this edition is contemporary creation and social dynamics, including various exhibitions, scattered in various places in the city, all dedicated to African artists.
My favorite aspect of this edition is the presentation of a section devoted to women and women’s art, titled Créativité de femmes. In 2008, reference to women in the exhibition was a subject of contention: Gharrach Mourad’s photograph, La femme Mauresque, a portrait of a woman covered by a traditional Islamic veil, but with a bare breast, was an artistic “gesture” that did not go unnoticed in an Islamic country like Senegal.
The fact that a section of the exhibition is dedicated to women is a hopeful sign, as well as an opportunity to reflect on how art can be, especially in Africa, a means of dialogue and social emancipation.