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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand

Africa since 1935

Research Director
Professor A. A. Mazrui (Kenya)

C. Wondji (Ivory Coast)

Arts and society since 1935

Across Africa today the arts give the show an amazing cauldron of creativity emerged with a dizzying diversity of all layers of society. Many new artistic trends date from the second half of the colonial period. Besides, some pioneers are still working today. After all, it is past two generations since 1935. But in that short time, the artistic activity was a richness and diversity as this chapter may at most trace the main lines of its evolution (1).

Initially, we must enumerate a few general features of social and cultural matrix that is all. These are: the growing impact but unevenly distributed in Europe, the growth of cities, social stratification more trenches that lead to the formation of new classes, the industrial division of time has reached the beaches of leisure may be devoted to the practice and enjoyment of the arts, the prestige associated with the technical and technical training, changing the place and role of the artist in society, past status of artisan to that of cultural soothsayer The change in attitude toward art and their use, alteration of values in general and more specifically the changing religious values. The multiplication of objects of artistic production offers new opportunities, these are just the centers of state power, churches, temples and mosques, but also cafes, dance halls, military institutions, schools, museums. Some older homes, palaces, shrines, masked festivities, celebrations and religious schools of initiation, still exist but are in decline. The fashion phenomenon has intensified under the impetus of centers in which there are now more restricted, which are generally large cities such as Cairo, Tunis, Algiers, Fez, Nairobi, Lagos, Dakar, Kinshasa, Luanda and Soweto. This corresponds to the characteristic modalities of increased consumption visible (2) and the ripple effect by elites using reference groups to millions of others. The mere enumeration of these issues shows how the development of the arts is closely linked to general history, social, intellectual and material of the period, and the impression left by these aspects regularly on all forms of art, all artistic expression soon ceases to amaze those who study deepens.

Beginning Visual Arts and ornamentation of the body, then examine the performing arts such as music and some forms of dance and performing arts: entertainment and pageantry, ballet, theater, cinema and television. We conclude with some remarks on the role of African art in the global context.

Visual Arts

From 1935, you can easily store the visual arts in four categories: Traditional (3), tourist art, folk art and urban art academic - and classified according to themes, styles, audiences, purposes and places production. The features that differentiate these arts from each other are essentially the following. Traditional art, which often takes the form of the sculpture but also that of the mural (4), figurative or geometric, is practiced in rural areas (which were still alive, even in the 80, two thirds of the inhabitants of Africa) and in a small number of ancient cities. Objects mills, with the exception of wall hangings, utility functions. They are used especially for the needs of institutions such as initiation ceremonies for boys and girls, funeral rites, the palaver huts adjoining villages, royal courts and certain Christian churches (5), and the palace some rulers of the past. Tourist Art is for foreign clients. His themes are therefore readily exotic and anecdotal. They are treated in a simplified figurative style and obey guns half Europeanized. Urban folk art, out of limbo in 1935, consists mainly of paintings to decorate the walls of town houses. Appeared around 1930 in Central Africa, but much earlier in North Africa, it is figurative. The portrait is then in vogue, and historical subjects, anecdotal and decorative. Another form of folk art found its expression in painting signs and signs for shops, vehicles, cinemas, and others. Like traditional artists and producers of tourist art, folk artists see themselves as skilled craftsmen. Academic art is practiced by artists trained in Western conceptions of painting and sculpture, using European techniques. Their clients include governments, churches and the international art market. Their topics are often very close to the current international repertoire. Artists trained in academies official endorsed the roles that are associated with international art, while those who learned their craft in the craft workshops that incur few.

The categories are not fully compartmentalized. We saw traditional art objects of interest to tourists, as was the case of paintings on glass of Senegal (6) with a consequent rise in prices that cut customer's local market. Conversely, there may be some tourist items that appeal to local elites are able to pay the price. Part of the production of academic art is due to artists who have received formal training (Lamidi Fakeye (7) or to artists working in tourism (Felix Idubor (8)), and there are artists of academic who turned to art and popular tourist (school of Lubumbashi, a few artists Osogbo). However, overall, the most remarkable phenomenon was the degree of separation, two generations, has made these trends separate streams (9).

Before analyzing each of them separately, it should at least say a few words of architecture. South of the Sahara, modern architecture has rarely been entrusted to African architects, although there are a handful of schools (Kinshasa, Luanda, Maputo) forming architects. There were still some traditional architects in North Africa but not elsewhere because housing construction has been increasingly standardized and carried out by users, and virtually no traditional public building built to last has been built from 1920. The artistic categories that we identified do not apply to the architecture that, unlike all the other arts, is limited to books due to expatriates, though some of their works seek to replicate aspects of traditional architecture (10). The innovative architecture of local popular type is limited to the construction of places of worship (11).

Traditional arts

Although its purpose has been announced well before 1935 (12), traditional art is still alive and continues to grow. Most rural Africans are still some who have retained a great need for artistic expression. Before 1936, not only the traditional arts had suffered internal and stylistic changes gradually adopted materials (fabrics, paints), tools (saws, files) and import certain techniques, but new traditions have sprung full of vitality here and here, as extras on the gourd (Zaire, Kenya (13)) or ceramic (Zaire (14)). Significant innovations often manifested by sales to European residents. Thus, large fang funerary figures and statues of women dan are taken today for the traditional art timeless. Now they have emerged after 1885, driven by demand from Europeans settled there. These innovations have been quick to find a specific destination in cultures that had created, which helps to distinguish the earliest forms of art for tourists.

Nevertheless, in 1935, production of these arts had been reduced in variety and volume as a result of competition from cheap manufactured imports and a loss of purchasing power, and the fact that elites had lost their seats. Depression, which occurred in 1930, brought with it a higher import prices relative to incomes, which had the effect of reversing the dynamics of substitution for all products, including metal items. This situation lasted until the end of the Second World War. Then the process reverses again. After 1960, even pottery, which had held firm against the articles of enameled iron, was being abandoned as promised to the advent of plastics. The local textiles became so expensive that they could not survive only by selling to tourists or as raw material cost of new costumes.

Already in 1935, the alarm announcing the agony of the traditional arts had attracted official action in favor of crafts, including Tunisia, Ghana and Zaire (15). Of course, the government intervention was most often the effect of developing art for tourists, guests of the production is no longer the local rural population, but it preserved the technical know-how, or at least late loss.

The stylistic development of sculpture and painting on traditional themes in a traditional setting, continued after 1935. Religious painting in Ethiopia in an outstanding example (16), as well as buildings and sculptures of traditional palaces of south-western Nigeria (17). As little research has been done on the dynamics of traditional art during this period, we can not get into the detail of the thematic and stylistic evolution of these arts, except for changes caused by a market-oriented tourism. In the art of Kuba those years, the range of materials used for sculpture (including ebony and ivory) extends, but the repertoire of formulations style loses its refinement (eg, in sets repetitive rhythms). Some new issues are, however, and at least prepared a royal statue is produced as a direct extension of the previous series (18). It then uses a smaller sample of models available (shapes, decoration) and fashionable cliches know fortunes rising and descending at the option of modes obeying only in part to the tastes of Europeans living there. Masks the coast of West Africa are becoming more complex and fancy as their religious function turns to the carnival. Sometimes a stylization and a security proportions and rhythms replace a superior preciousness earlier (for example, the Senufo art), and sometimes change is reversed (Baule). There is very little change between 1930 and 1982 about the treatment of objects such as icons and masks used for the initiation of boys Kuba. But in initiation ceremonies Genya (Kisangani, Zaire), there is a continuous modernization of the icons, without the introduction ever become a tourist spectacle (19). Overall, we can not make generalizations about the evolution of traditional art or continue to announce his imminent demise.

In North Africa, independence was accompanied by a special focus on traditional architecture and renovation of ancient monuments. We think the mausoleum of Mohammed V in Morocco or the revival of stone carving in Tunisia and restorations everywhere. Among the new works include the new Cairo Opera House characterized by his reminiscences of the Mamluk (20). Elsewhere, there was no such return to the sources of regional traditions. But suffice it to note the contrast between extreme loneliness of traditional arts in Lebowa (South Africa) and their situation in other places to realize the health and vitality of authentic that these arts are still in the Much of Africa (21)

Folk Art

South of the Sahara, folk art urban post-independence is that we know best (30). But some art forms are very popular past and the border between folk art and traditional art is fading in the rural areas - for example, for cement sculptures of cemeteries (Côte d'Ivoire, Akan, Cross River, Kongo) (31) or the wall paintings of the villages of the Transvaal Ndebele (32). The cement has replaced the land but also the stone and wood. The sculptures are often modernity (airplanes, cars), new religious symbols (crosses, angels sexed) and portraits (extending from the Kongo tradition of woodworking and stone). In some cases there was rupture. Nubian murals have appeared around 1925 (33) to go out with the creation of Lake Nasser in 1964. A Ahmad Batul, probably originating Ballana, invented the new mural. Until then, the murals were the work of women. It was the first man to indulge them. He drew his inspiration from ancient geometric patterns and figurative scenes simple views on imported products. A painter even took inspiration for the images on the lids of cans. Large billboards figurative paintings on the walls of institutions oases of western Egypt resembled those murals. There were also wall paintings in some parts of Central and East Africa. The missions were conducive to Uganda to replace the body paint, they disapproved. Other rural products of popular art were essentially the shrines and churches, which were discussed above.

In cities, there are churches, murals on the interior walls of houses or cafes, paints signs and billboards (34). The houses of the Yoruba cities were decorated with lions in cement and other architectural sculptures from the 30s and 50s (35). A unique form of visual art is popular all of sculptures, paintings and flags with fabric appliques associations of cities Asafo Fanti (Ghana) (36).

However, the most popular feature of urban art has proved to be paint on canvas. It derives some murals, which in some parts of West Africa and throughout Central Africa, date back to precolonial and early colonial era or body art. The figurative themes are quick to integrate products of modern times and historical scenes (foundation of administrative positions, Battles). Styles of expression have developed similar graph also gourds, pottery and some times (per application) on tissues, but also in the form of bas-reliefs in ivory or wood. The popular painting is deeply rooted in African traditions.

The first painters like Ibrayima Njoya, Cameroon (1920), A. Onabolu Nigeria (20s) or A. Lubaki (circa 1926) and others in Zaire were inspired by these works. Lubaki was ivory carver before beginning to paint (37). But we must wait 30 years to appear, the entire Atlantic coast, representing a painting nostalgic beaches, palm trees, villagers and genre scenes encamped in the city (38). While art for sale to tourists, but also for city dwellers. In 1960, one could still see a camel and his escort under a starry night Saharan Africa on the wall of a house or a Mauritanian Dakar

Elephant monumental than the house of a watchmaker in Bujumbura (Burundi) (39). Similar scenes painted on canvas begin to be bought by city dwellers, as well as portraits of famous people (marabouts in Senegal) or self-portraits (Zaire).

A startling innovation comes in the themes represented in the 50s, first to Kinshasa and then, after independence, in Lubumbashi, in Nigeria after the civil war, and later still in Ghana. The fashion is so historical subjects. In 1960, the exotic image of Mamy Wata (or muntu mamba), the siren temptress, a symbol of magic and alienation, of Ghana had also spread to Shaba. A new complex themes crystallized around 1960 in the bleak industrial landscape of Lubumbashi. Scenes from a traumatic past and tribulations of this time directly express the historical consciousness of the inhabitants. Gone are the nostalgic scenes evoking a return to the carefree life in the village. The perception of urban identities is now predominant. Portraiture is changing: his subjects are now shown as tragic characters torn by the contradictions of history. These anonymous works (40) are very popular and their popularity soon spread to Kinshasa and Kisangani, and later in Dar es Salaam (41) and Lusaka. The genus is long to disappear. His models are different chromo including advertising images and illustrations for magazines. The European perspective and European guns in the treatment of characters are used, but without modeling or shading. The effect is powerful contrast with the local historical themes represented (42).

The popular religious art has survived in Ethiopia with the standardized production of icons, historical scenes or magic scrolls. Portraits and scenes are stereotypical but occasionally appears in a new composition, such as St. Yarid accompanied by birds, because it is the saint who brought sacred music in the country. Elsewhere in northern Africa, the repertoire of works of religious inspiration is more limited, as does Islam. The images of the Kaaba in Mecca are the most common (43).

With urban growth and stabilization of their immigrant population, urban folk art and themes that we have mentioned have gained increasing importance and significance. These works of special interest to the historian of society insofar as they directly depict how the mutation of time is felt in the urban masses.

Body art

The body, its ornamentation and costume proclaiming the person as well as various group identities (social status or ethnicity) and fitness for a particular circumstance (work, celebration, mourning and others). Also the history of this body art does immediate interest to the historian, for whom she may be one of the most sensitive indicators of social change and cultural influence (55).

Africa has traditionally been an endless variety of modes of ornamentation of the person by scarification, tattooing, body painting, hairdressing, and operations such as circumcision or excision altered the body either temporarily or permanently. And costume jewelry complete the look. Thus spoke the differences in gender, age, marital status and social position. Monotheistic religions had strict principles of modesty, and their members complied with it in their clothes. Ethnicity was also external signs, which were often scarification, or a suit worn by an entire population, like that of the Tunisians or Moroccans. The apparatus of the same face and hairstyle (sailing, Tarbush, turban, headdress of women in Angola, Gabon, Zaire) could be signs of ethnicity, class or religious training. Additional ornaments (jewelry, paintings or party clothes) attested to the social rank of an individual and the degree of competition and solidarity on the occasion of public demonstrations. Patterns were established by elites which set examples to emulate (56), because the traditional body art was not static. Thus, we know the fashions that were de rigueur in the court of Kuba early this century or in Rwanda. For a decade, the popularity among young dandy Kuba was the tall hats. In Rwanda, the male hair was all the rage in men's high society had a haircut leaving tufts of rounded imitating the hairstyle of nubile young girls in high society. This fashion started around 1900 has been more progress in 1945 (57). The same men wore robes of tissue flowers from late nineteenth century until about the 50s, when European clothes made them go out of style.

In 1935, the colonial regime had long had its effects and proposed the name of civilization rejection of most body arts, so much so that scholarly studies of body painting and scarification are rare and late (58 ). Tattoos and scars were considered barbarians, as well as nudity, especially painted (59). Many ornaments have also been discouraged in the name of economy, healthy work habits or comfort. The mockery of Europeans about the heavy brass rings worn around the neck or ankles are a stereotype of the early colonial period. On incessant campaigns were then carried out for suitable clothing, not only by missionaries. South of the Sahara, they had offered decent styles of dresses for women, all derived from the dress called "Mother Hubbard" (long skirt and blouse with long sleeves) (60). The Europeans have introduced different styles of costumes in the administration shirts and shorts, safari jackets, uniforms and military uniforms of servants. The business suit is rarely worn except by the European elite in the cities, which explains the attraction it has on the first flower of the African elite and Europeanized over other men, urban and rural . In northern and western Africa, as on the east coast, the Islamic dress is good. The African West keeps his robe in the Sahel or costume type Yoruba on the coast, his hooded Moroccan, Sudanese and Swahili his djellaba his kanzu and Kofi.

In the 30s (61) can be divided into three main African regions in terms of dress, and even today, these divisions remain important. In Eastern and Southern European city of the costume began to replace the imitation of military uniforms as clothing prestige. Fashion, part of the Tanzanian coast, spread inwards to Malawi and Zambia with the combination of dance Beni (62), Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi from Nairobi and in Southern Africa from its major cities, the styles are markedly different in Angola and Mozambique. The shorts, shirt or become Saharan workwear currents, although all citizens prefer pants to shorts, while the combination of Spain and the jacket is still common in rural areas. The campaign for women is gradually replaced by the classic dress missions and comes to be perceived as indicating the city promiscuous. The dress is so well accepted in Namibia a suit of Central Europe of the nineteenth century it became a kind of ethnic place in the Herero and Nama. African fashion has kept male military clothing as an expression of ethnicity than among the Nguni and Zulu (63). Another innovation is the large white and red tunic of the prophets and pastors of African independent churches bearing the lacrosse stick. Without doubt they have taken as models for illustrations of the Bible. Among herders in East Africa, particularly Kenya and southern Sudan, the traditional body art and the absence or scarcity of men's clothing still survive today. In fact, as and when it became possible to obtain new ways of ornamentation, there has been elaborated in Kenya's most spectacular variations of body art.

On the coast of West Africa and Equatorial European models of women's clothing have been rejected. The campaign has kept its prestige. Whether manufactured locally or imported, the reasons must be consistent with local tastes and the European textile industry has made a habit of being attentive to the preferences of its customers Africa (64). For the reasons, the modes are launched in major cities by the courtesans (often free dress importers) and women of the African elite. The male costume party on the coast of West Africa has remained impervious to the influence of European dress, but the costume was adopted by city managers, academics and office workers. Meanwhile, in equatorial Africa, he became the garment's high society, but much less than in western Zaire French colonies. However, the robe has kept his place in the Sahel and has even spread to the south. In short, European fashions have been here for much less than in eastern and southern Africa.

Overall, northern Africa remained committed to its own costumes and body ornaments (painted with henna). Women have adopted the European dresses in larger cities, but carried them under Haik, as in Morocco on business suit can be worn as a bathrobe or even in a djellaba and with slippers. But men have adopted the European workwear and in Egypt the city clothes clothing has long been aware of the middle and upper classes. The symbolic value of clothing is highlighted by the controversy that divided Egypt about Tarbush. Shortly after 1935, this hat is denounced by progressives who see him as degrading emblem of servility, and the playwright Tawfik al-Hakim defiantly wears a beret. This does not prevent the elite to defend the Tarbush stand firm. Today, however, this hat has disappeared. Only a few are business people displaying their conservatism.

Nationalism after 1945 found its expression in costume (65). Nationalities have decried more than Europeans nudity and ornamentation of the skin. They created costumes, often very aware as in Sierra Leone where the fabric is embroidered yoke Kabah to become a consensus national women's clothing. Only the pattern differed from the yoke dresses previously imported in Freetown (66). Nkrumah fixed the style of national costume in 1957 and the elites of the West Africa followed. Yoruba party clothes, the trinkets of Kano or Bamako (67) became expressions of nationalism. Local activities weaving, embroidery and dyeing showed accordingly a new youth, especially when the new elites were becoming rich enough to use the garment as an indicator of social status (68). The hair styles and beauty products adopted by European women were an abomination in the eyes of the nationalists - and many rural men. They were replaced by national hairstyles (69). In Zaire, Mobutu imposed by the Abacos a decree outlawing the suit and in particular the wearing of the tie (70). The Abacos ("Down with the suit") was an expression of authenticity, a symbol of equality, virility, simplicity. It was originally inspired by the Maoist outfit. Over time, however, as class differentiation was asserting itself in Kinshasa after 1970, the Abacos has come to express the quality of fabric and cut, and social status.

The fashion is back in loincloths and Central Equatorial Africa, but in styles and motifs more sophisticated than before and by promoting the return of expensive local fabrics. However, in eastern and southern Africa, women of the upper class were opposed to their reappearance in town. Modes at the European are much more developed in Nairobi and Dakar (71). The costume of triumph among the urban city, although it is not unchallenged in Tanzania. Overall, there is less nationalism expressed through clothing by other means. Elsewhere, European fashions have also not been completely excluded. Fads, like the vogue for high-soled shoes in Nigeria (circa 1975) or fashion zoot Ivory Coast (circa 1965), swept from time to time the urban landscape.

In North Africa, the most significant event was an attempt to return to the veiling of women in the cities of Egypt (72) as a sign of adherence to fundamentalism. Libya and Tunisia, has seen the rebirth of a national costume derived from old dresses from rural shaykhs.

Textiles and costumes have also appeared on the tourist market. The man's shirt with collar, cuffs and pocket embroidery is now very worn by expatriates across the continent, and among African-Americans and their sympathizers in the United States. The production of fabrics or costumes figurative decoration mainly for export has grown in Ivory Coast (Senufo), while Lesotho started producing blankets for the tourist market, Botswana printed fabrics and Mali rugs (73).

Thus, forms of dress and ornamentation of the body proposed by the Europeans have been accepted only selectively during this period when the desire to highlight the national identity and, later, social status also its mark on the history of clothing. But otherwise, dress and ornamentation of the body remained authentic expressions of aesthetic need. If we could write the story, even rudimentary, jewelry or scarf, it would certainly appear a search for new expressions of beauty itself. But for now, it was not even the first elements.

The rural music and sacred music

If, in 1935, rural traditions were still almost intact, the influences conveyed through records, radio, the spread of Islam and Christianity and the military orchestras were already strong in the last three cases , old. However, many of these influences are so subtle that they are actually distinguishable by musicologists (78). The vast diversity of the repertoire sung lullabies to lay funeral songs, work songs to protest songs of praise and satire. The song accompanying the dance was still plenty of vitality, but some categories, such as work songs were on the decline. Music purely religious rituals associated with determined was rare in traditional African religion. But when it existed, it suffered the same fate as the ritual. The songs of protest have flourished in colonial times and sometimes later. Their music incorporated the old and new. Protest songs rwenzururu (Uganda) are characteristic in this regard. Some employed the music of old drinking songs, some of those songs or jingles for schoolchildren (79). The form reflected not the message but the generation and age of the singers. The influence of European record of success was greater in the 40 and 50 that later. In the 50s, the Mangbetu (Zaire) enjoyed French singer Tino Rossi (80) and in 1966, the repertoire of songs included rwenzururu air Alpenrosen old sentimental refrain from Central Europe. But the songs also innovated rural. In some areas, the old epic kind of song was used to compose new songs history. Thus, a blind minstrel Lulua composed a song interpreting the contemporary history of Kasai (Zaire) through its traditional leaders and their guardian spirits (81).

Sacred music has become more important where Islam was spreading and as a result of the activities of Churches (82). Well before 1935, the songs enjoyed great favor, even though their ranges and their harmonics were unconsciously adapted to local standards. Choirs were based in schools and during the 50 troops mounted on the model of Vienna Choir Boys appear in Central, Eastern and Southern (83). Catholics are engaged in the experience of the "African Mass" from the 30s (84). These masses are composed by Africans, often priests or seminarians, from 1939, and the popularity reached its peak before the Second Vatican Council of 1962 and its statements on the liturgical language and practice (85). The momentum of movement was then attenuated, although the creation of sacred music retains its force in taking on the religious revival and the increased pace of conversions, clear across the continent after 1980. However, the songs are now less popular among much of the population than the new urban popular music that reaches across the rural areas.


Africa dance, said G. Gorer in 1935 about West Africa: "They dance their joy and their suffering they dance, they dance and they dance love hate, they dance to invoke prosperity and they dance to ward off the calamity they dance religiously and they dance to pass the time (107). "

He worried for the future wrong. A rich legacy can not be erased in the blink of an eye, especially as the European dance, social or artistic, has never been a competitor. Social dancing has been borrowed, but with very little of his music and his little step. Meanwhile, the rural dance has continued to see a succession of modes and to develop. The dynamics of this art was such that even after 1900, a new and complex tradition of ballet theater, the bobongo, has been developed as part of Zaire, despite the colonial regime (108). The migrants brought their dances to the city and they often thrived in competition with other ethnic or regional groups. Innovations were introduced, including adaptation to the dance of military training exercises and gymnastics. This took place in Beni before 1914, but also elsewhere, particularly among the Ewondo of Yaounde where you live, in 1970, a female gymnastic dance performed to the sound of a police whistle to be consecrated under the label "traditional" (109).

The dances have attracted little attention from colonial authorities until the 50s, except for the purpose of punishment or as an attraction for the holidays and in honor of distinguished visitors. Rural troops who were often solicited in such circumstances then began to refuse to dance, at least without pay. By the early 30s, a group of dancers Dogon was sent to Paris. Thus were born the professional dance groups (110). Another source of creation of modern ballet was an effort to integrate dance and theater that inspired Fodeba Keita. He created his Ballets Africans in the mid 50s. At the time, performances of folk dances indoors or outdoors were starting to enter the manners everywhere (111). However, another dynamic nationalism, was now at work. Folk dances became an absolute imperative for the nationalists, so much so that in Egypt, where there were no rural dance tradition, they had to invent the genre. Egypt was also the only African state to establish in 1958 an institute of ballet (in Europe). Elsewhere, in the aftermath of independence, the country turned to their choreographic heritage to organize the troops. Similarly, it is drawing first in the national heritage that has opened at the universities of drama schools.

These innovations have changed in many ways the nature of dance. The performance of traditional dances in non-traditional settings involved a report of a new genre to the audience, the report became impersonal and based on the payment of a fee. Emphasis was placed on elements of dramatic dance sequences but with general movements simplified and shortened. The limitations of space (the stage) and time had radically changed the basic plan and general organization of the dance and the dancers' attitude towards their own performance. In addition, costumes and movements were tailored to meet urban standards of decency and new topics were introduced to dance (112). Moreover, the composition of programs put in relief the variety and was thus an amalgam of different peoples dances and dances of different kinds. In the 1958 program of the troop Changwe Yetu, a war dance was facing a funeral dance from another region, and such spectacular gymnastic dance mingled with the sword dances of enthronement of chiefs. Integrating the new dances to the rhythm mimics exercise also being elaborated in the crucible of cities. Since then, a greater concern for artistic unity is reached. It matches the dance at a time of unfolding of a plot of Opera (Nigeria) or theater, and she became an accessory of the drama, or we present a progression of dances to create a emotional structure which sets up a sort of tangle of tensions and to resolve a succession of scenes of exposure leading to the grand spectacle of the final scene. The result is an entirely new choreography.

Meanwhile, in cities, a social dance changes only on minor points in terms of fads, rural dances continue, ethnic dance competitions are channeled in the form of "festivals", while the style urban social dance every day of gains ground in the countryside. Today, dance remains a favorite pastime, the art form practiced by the greatest number and, with the music, the most popular of all the arts.

Arts of Africa in the Global Context

African sculpture has revolutionized European art, especially sculpture, from 1905. In 1935, Cubism and German Expressionism were out of fashion but the fundamental influence of African art was still alive and continues even today to dominate the sculpture, as demonstrated by the works of Zadkine Moore, Archipenko and others. The principles of classical African art have been integrated into the international repertory of forms (161). These pulses are often returned to Africa. Thus, a folk artist from Benin (Nigeria) has copied a work of Benson Osawa inspired Modigliani, itself indebted to form a mask loga in eastern Zaire (162). The impact has been on Expressionism African artists trained in Europe is enshrined in the African art has had on expressionism. Thus, Gerard Sekoto affects classical forms through the prism of German Expressionist painting.

African music had also made his most significant contributions before 1935 with what he must create the jazz and the Afro-Latin music. As for the visual arts, and we understand why these movements have in turn contribute to both modern African music.

During the high colonial era, after 1920, except for 1'inspiration procured by Le Corbusier's architecture Mzab (southern Algeria), the African artistic heritage has had little impact. Colonialism did not see arrogant that Africans in the students to educate, certainly not masters. After independence, however, African arts have begun to exert their influence in the world. The international audience has had the opportunity to see more classical African art exhibitions, hear new music, attend performances of theater and ballet. The original contribution of the arts world heritage is gradually being recognized and musicians in particular are increasing their international audience, while a film at least, the mandate of Ousmane Sembene, was a genuine popular success in Europe. If classical art now enjoys a high regard, modern visual art is only beginning to make themselves known to an international audience. It has so far exerted little influence on the international stage.

Even the recognition of traditional African art is still incomplete. Despite numerous exhibitions in Paris and Tokyo, Prague and New York, African traditional art is still kept out of the conservatories of what constitutes "fine arts" in the public eye. Only the Metropolitan Museum in New York presents a permanent collection of classical sculpture African, and even that the title of "primitive art". The fact remains that the growing esteem in which light is classical art has stimulated the market for works of art. This market existed in 1900 but grew by leaps and bounds since 1945, and again after 1960. Unfortunately this growth was accompanied by the usual problems due to smuggling, illegal excavations at the counterfeit industry and significant further loss of important works of art from being exported to other continents (163 ). Classic art has not yet entered the Louvre, but it took place in major auction houses. However, artists, musicians, playwrights and filmmakers modern struggle for recognition. As demonstrated in the 80 Nobel Prize awarded to Wole Soyinka and awarded a Gold Award at Cannes in 1987, these battles are now paying off.


The half-century that has elapsed since 1935 did not include two generations of artists but three: the forerunners, the pioneers of contemporary art and those who took them away. Everything was decided between 1945 and 1965. These are the years when the first experiments were crystallized in a new tradition which have not divested from the artists afterwards. The year 1960 date is not a capital for art. New arts are the product of a great era of hope nationalist, not of political independence. In a massive outpouring, the arts have reflected the nationalism and the next generation they have produced waves of artists who developed the perspectives opened by the pioneers in all disciplines, all genres, all the arts.

Taken together, the new arts are not derived from European traditions, although they developed at the height of the cultural influence of Europe, which covers the same years and still continues, stronger perhaps before 1945, and despite the adoption of techniques or instruments from Europe. Ultimately, what is most striking is the continuity with earlier times. Continuities are evident for rural arts, evident in the folk arts and underlying much of the art for the tourist market. Is observed to break free in the theater, because it conforms to the Italian tradition, and in the cinema which, except in Egypt, is not yet a popular art. Cinema and theater intellectualizing academic leave even the most insensitive elites, which also rejects the European-inspired visual art and turn away from European classical music. Arts academic derivatives of Europe, are still strangers to collective perceptions of Africa. The artists who practice the feel and the feeling of not belonging is very much in their positions on African identity, alienation and negritude. Overall, the new arts of Africa are a synthesis in which a small part of European heritage was selectively combined with a large African heritage.

D. Niven noted the close relationship between artists and politicians academic leaders (164). This is one aspect of a larger truth: the arts have been a faithful mirror of the changing history of African societies with their internal and external tensions. As the urban population, urban arts have assumed a prominent place. As social classes were formed and the gap separating them took the shape of a precipice, each class was his own artistic expression. Tensions between the intellectual side of cinema, theater, visual arts and even the suit and paying them are popular everywhere apparent. It is the music where the opposition is not immediately eyes is that there is almost no academic musicians. That artists are academic or not one agrees with the elite, they speak their language and are recognized by it. Popular artists as a whole, are not. Again, African societies are masters of their destiny, and they are dreams and metaphors, the arts, that express their aspirations complex. The arts are new because they are a reflection of a new Africa.


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