Embodying Sankofa: 5 African artists influenced by history

Originally posted on TED Blog:

At TED2013, graphic designer Saki Mafundikwa highlights the beauty of traditional African written languages, urging designers to draw inspiration from them. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

At TED2013, graphic designer Saki Mafundikwa highlights the beauty of traditional African written languages, urging designers to draw inspiration from them. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Zimbabwean designer Saki Mafundikwa has a powerful vision for the future of African art. As the founder of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIWA), Mafundikwa is working to bring African art back to its roots. ZIWA, the first school of graphic design in Zimbabwe, and one of the first schools to emphasize the use of digital technology to teach the visual arts, places the continent’s rich artistic history at the center of its curriculum.

[ted_talkteaser id=1807]This idea sits at the heart of today’s talk, in which Mafundikwa encourages African artists  to take a look at their own cultural heritage for artistic inspiration, rather than looking to the outside world.  He sums up the concept with the Ghanaian glyph Sankofa, which means literally “return…

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