Embodying Sankofa: 5 African artists influenced by history

Originally posted on TED Blog:

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 and get it» — or «learn from the past.» Says Mafundikwa, «We must go to the past so as to inform our present and build on…

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