Visual Africa: Francophone Women's Aesthetic Representations of Africa (WIF session)

(Roundtable)


French and Francophone / Women's and Gender Studies

Anna Rocca (Salem State University)

Africa’s contemporary visual female artists are transforming the ways their past and present histories are told. Despite choosing to speak through different media, women of the visual arts elect to make the compelling issues that define their times a standpoint of their works. Their contributions are providing a forum of discussion around the most various issues: the environment, migration, diaspora, gender, identity, power, faith, race, beauty, sexuality, social activism, and more. Women’s artistic production also helps to contribute to the symbolic representation and socio-political empowerment of marginalized African realities and communities.

This panel invites papers on African women’s artistic and cinematic representations of contemporary Africa. Some questions to explore may include, among others: how do African women artists relate with stereotypes and essential notions and visual representations of Africa, the latter created for Westerners’ consumption? How do female artists appropriate and imagine cultural heritage? Are they defining new aesthetics and perspectives of (national) identity? How do women artist posit a multiplicity of shifting ranging from static binary categories such as North/South, black/white, African/European, foreign/national, to overlapping identity formation as well as localized, situational, and/or hyphenated identities?

This panel invites papers on francophone African women's artistic and cinematic representations of contemporary Africa. How do African women artists relate with stereotypes and essential notions and visual representations of Africa, the latter created for Westerners' consumption? How do female artists appropriate and imagine cultural heritage? Are they defining new aesthetics and perspectives of (national) identity? Do women artist posit a multiplicity of shifting ranging from static binary categories such as North/South, black/white, African/European, foreign/national, to overlapping identity formation as well as localized, situational, and/or hyphenated identities?