The Image of Africa: Writer and curator Ekow Eshun and artist Shiraz Bayjoo in conversation
Writer and curator Ekow Eshun and artist Shiraz Bayjoo in conversation on the image of Africa in photography. The talk will draw on Shiraz Bayjoo’s multimedia practice and his focus on East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, Madagascar and Zanzibar as sites of creolite and hybridity. Ekow Eshun’s recent survey of contemporary African photography, Africa State of Mind. And it will look ahead to We Are History, the forthcoming group exhibition curated by Eshun and featuring Bayjoo, at Somerset House, London, which traces the complex interrelations between today’s climate crisis and legacies of colonialism.
Shiraz Bayjoo is a contemporary multi-disciplinary artist who works with film, painting, photography, performance, and installation. His research-based practice focuses on personal and public archives addressing cultural memory and postcolonial nationhood in a manner that challenges dominant cultural narratives. Bayjoo has exhibited with the Institute of International Visual Arts, London; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; 5th Edition Dhaka Art Summit; 14th Biennale of Sharjah; 13th Biennale of Dakar; and 21st Biennale of Sydney. Bayjoo is a recipient of the Gasworks Fellowship and the Arts Council of England. He is an artist in residence at the Delfina Foundation and has recently been awarded the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.
Ekow Eshun is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, overseeing the most prestigious public art programme in the UK, and the former Director of the ICA, London. He is the author of Africa State of Mind: Contemporary Photography Reimagines a Continent, nominated for the Lucie Photo Book Prize, and Black Gold of the Sun, nominated for the Orwell prize. He has contributed to monographs and publications on Chris Ofili, Kehinde Wiley, John Akomfrah, Mark Bradford and Duro Olowu among many others. as well to books including Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography, Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850, Seen: Black Style UK.