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CONDITION REPORT: SYMPOSIUM ON BUILDING ART INSTITUTIONS IN AFRICA

January 18 - January 20 2012

 Organized in cooperation with Goethe Institut and the German Cultural Foundation, Condition Report addresses the changing role of art institutions and initiatives in relation to broader artistic urgencies, and in relation to society in its whole. The symposium was organised to evaluate a founding principle of many independent organizations that have emerged in recent years-namely that independent contemporary art institutions are an important voice in the construction of a strong cultural private sector as well as in forging a critical opinion from an open civil society. The importance of issues of action, space, power, control, quality, programmatic orientation and regional and international collaborations are covered. The sessions also provide a platform for discussing case studies and experience accompanied by an informed interpretative analysis.

What kind of intellectual and artistic society can be imagined, given the recurrent political and economical setbacks that causes continual disruptions in the development of visions in Africa? How can government institutions adjust to these paradigm shifts to achieve fruitful public-private partnerships? What are the dynamics that former colonial power produce through their continuous strong cultural and artistic presence in post colonial territories? More importantly-and in profond belief that institutions are not only products of their environment, but also active agents of shaping thair society in return-what potentials exist for the art institution? What can artists and related professionals expect from an art institution in a context determined by one off blockbuster events, fiancial incapacities and educational degradation?