Iscuss critically the idea of a?populara art in Africa


In recent years the term a?populara art has come to suggest a discrete category of practice; and in the years since Magiciens de la Terre (Paris 1989), some writers and collectors have priveleged certain kinds of apparently a?populara practice attributing to them a Neo-Primitivist a?authenticitya? as if these alone were the acceptable face of a modern or contemporary African art (eg in Ghana, Ga coffin making, and Ewe and Anlo funerary monuments; and the work of some of the now ubiquitous signpainters throughout the continent) This created a resentment among artists who had come through the Fine Art departments of West African universities, and who sometimes began to write or speak as if we should thus omit these forms of practice from consideration as a?art.a Susan Vogelas 1991 Africa Explores was criticised in precisely this way, for placing artists who were in some sense part of an international art world in the same space with signpainters. Indeed, one might have all sorts of reasons for being critical of it, but one achievement of Africa Explores was to show that the diverse forms comprising the category a?populara had little or nothing in common, other than their location in a largely urban environment; and yet, in practice, printmaking, signpainting, photography, masquerade, textile design, etc, may well subsist as parts of a common set of visual environments; and yet, while possibly functionally inter-related within local art worlds at some level (eg one medium as source material for another), each will have its own developmental trajectory. We can deconstruct the notion of a?populara but we should not discard the artists responsible for the work.


-Above, I have given a summary of the topic and what needs to be focused on. Please use this, and at least 4 of the sources I have given below for the research of this essay. You will probably also need to use some independent sources
-Please take your time to do the research for this essay. It will show through the essay how much research has been done, and simple basic information that a secondary school student can come up with is simply not enough. This is supposed to be a 2:2 standard essay, and the last 2:1 I ordered didnat even make a pass because the writer did close to no research. It has to be clear that extensive research for a?populara arts in west and central Africa has been done, as well as research on the societal/historical/political context that is relevant to the question (ie evidence of research on Primitivism, and events like Magiciens De La Terre). In the summary above I have given guidelines as to what the essay should focus on, so the writer should know from this what to research (and include in the essay) within the sources. I repeat, even though this essay is supposed to be a 2:2 standard essay, the writer needs to remember it is a UNIVERSITY essay, not a primary/secondary school essay, therefore, basic secondary school standard information/analysis is NOT enough. Extensive research and clear, focused writing MUST be done for this essay. This is the most important instruction.
-Every point must be related to the essay title
-DO NOT repeat the same point more than once. The last writer repeated the same points over and over just to fill up the word count. I cannot accept that. Every point must be different, and each must have an explanation and preferably a quote to support the point (from any of the sources given)
-Let the essay have a simple structure; and explain the structure in the introduction, so the essay flows and the marker finds it easy to read. So for example, one part of the intro should be something like a?In this essay I will discuss the idea of a?populara art in Africaa¦a¦a¦.I will first focus ona¦..then I will move onto a¦a¦..following this, I will discussa¦.and lastly, conclude that popular arta¦a¦a?. (The marker should know what to expect from the essay having read the introduction. PLEASE make sure the structure is not disorganised, sloppy or difficult to follow. This is very important)
-Please use FOOTNOTES when referencing, and account for all information. If not, it will be considered plagiarism.
-Please use a few quotations from any given source to back up points. (Use quotation marks)
-Always be grammatically correct. The last writer made so many grammatical errors; and I couldnat make sense of them. Please make every sentence clear and understandable.
-Please understand that I need this essay exactly according to my instructions, and the deadline is tomorrow so if it is written with any errors, a revision will be useless for me and I will push for a refund instead (as the deadline would have past). So it is very important that the essay follows my instructions the first time.


**Vogel S, 1991: Africa Explores, chs II & III, pp 94-175; also Cosentino, a?Afrokitscha, pp 240-255
**Barber K, 1997: Readings in African Popular Culture, esp intro pp 1-9,
*Jewsiewicki B, 1991: Painting in Zaire … in Vogel Africa Explores, reprinted in Barber
* 1999: A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art
*Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 1991, Cheri Samba: a retrospective
*Secretan T, 1995: Going into Darkness: Fantastic Coffins from Africa, esp 3-23
*Fabian J, 1996:Remembering the Present: painting and popular history in Zaire, ch 4 pp269-296
*Sukuro E, 1990: Art to the people, in J Agthe, Wegzeichen-Signs, pp 139-148 (although concerned with Nairobi, and thus, perhaps, beyond the remit of this course, this text is important for its demonstration of the political utility of the visual arts.
*Picton J, 1992: Desperately seeking Africa, N Y 1991,Oxford Art Journal, 15, 2, pp 104-112
1991: Nigerian images of Europeans: commentary, appropriation, subversion, in South Bank Centre [Deliss, Malbert et al] Exotic Europeans pp 25-27
Poppi C, 1991: From the suburbs of the global village…, Third Text, 14
Brett G, 1986: Through Our Own Eyes: popular art and modern history, intro pp 7-26, and ch 3, No Condition is Permanent, pp 83-111
Howell S, 1995: Whose knowledge and whose power? in R Fardon [ed] Counterworks account of the political dimension that art exhibitions can entail).
Wollen P, 1993: Raiding the Icebox: refeections on twentieth-century culture ch 7, pp 190-210

The phenomena of Mami Wata in some parts of Africa raise many of the critical issues that surround concepts of popular culture and how to understand its local contexts and regional dispersion, See
Drewal, H., 1988, Mermaids, Mirrors, and Snake Charmers: Igbo Mami Wata Shrines, African Arts, 21, 2 (or any of his other publications which repeat his arguments)
Gore, C., and Nevadomsky, J., 1995, Practice and Agency in Mammy Wata Worship in Southern Nigeria, African Arts, 30, 2.
Gore, C., 2008, Mami Wata: An Urban Presence or the Making of a Tradition in Benin City Nigeria, ., in Drewal, H., (ed.) Sacred Waters: Arts for Mami Wata and Other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora, Indiana University Press, Indianopolis and Bloomington. And also in the same volume
Nevadomsky, J., 2008, Mammy Wata Inc., in Drewal, H., NB health warning! much of the other writings in this doorstep of a book require a large degree of a critical evaluation
Rush, D., 1999, Eternal Potential: Chromolithographs in Vodunland, African Arts, 32, 4.
Salmons, J., 1977, Mammy Wata, African Arts, 10, 3

Puppetry and performance in West Africa:
*Arnoldi M J, 1995: Playing with Time: art and performance in Central Mali ch 2, pp 18-57
Nunley J, 1987: Moving with the Face of the Devil…, esp chs 4, 5, 6

In this context, for the particular problems of South Africa see:
Younge G, 1988: Art of the South African Townships;
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1990: Art from South Africa, D Elliot et al,