AOA is an experimental series of podcasts and an attempt to contribute to content generation about Africa, from Africa from a different perspective. It spotlights the ways in which artists and their creative practices located in – or dislocated from – Africa define or redefine the parameters of what might constitute “African” – knowledge, narratives and experiences. It engages the artist as researcher and thinker, inventor, mentor and entrepreneur, as storyteller and translator and perhaps most importantly as expert and inspirer of new ideas.
AOA was conceived in 2013 in the context of the Joule City Incubator Project when Kadiatou Diallo worked with a group of young creatives around notions of ‘African Knowledge’. Conceptually, it is firmly rooted in the SPARCK programme.
Three seasons in a growing archive have been released thus far:
The first season – Infrastructures – highlights the work of artists in the Southern African region beyond their individual art practice. It focuses instead on the infrastructures they create in response to the needs of their local artists communities, commonly without any structural or financial support from local authorities.
The second season – Body talks – was recorded during the Africa Acts event in Paris, curated by Dominique Malaquais in 2015. It spotlights distinct and distinguished African performance artists and the ways in which they test the potentials and boundaries of their discipline – artistically but also to challenge social status quos.
The third season – Being black in Europe – considers the diasporic experiences of artists based in Berlin, Paris and Switzerland, asking how notions of home and transnational identities are negotiated, how race/ism and gender are navigated, how context impacts the work, how the art market is manoeuvred – in short: what it means to be a black artist in Europe today.