Ekow Eshun: Africa is a State of Mind

Home to more than 1.2 billion people, Africa is the world’s second most populous continent. Gaining a better understanding of this complex and diverse land, according to Ekow Eshun, rests not simply in thinking about its geography but about ‘looking inwards’ to the mindsets of its inhabitants.

Eshun is a writer, curator, broadcaster and former director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London who recently curated an exhibition of contemporary photography (and a book of the same name), Africa State of Mind. He talks to Whitney Richardson, a former New York Times picture editor and expert on African photography, about selecting the work of over 50 artist-photographers on the continent.

Inspired by Senegalese author Felwine Sarr’s poetic meditation Afrotopia and organising the artists’ images thematically, Eshun explores the idea that African identity is reflected in its contemporary art and culture – offering a fresh understanding of the experience of ‘African-ness’ for the 21st century.

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