” Welcome to this, the first issue of Izibongo, a monthly magazine celebrating the art of Africa and its Diaspora. I’ve been toying with the idea of this initiative for awhile. The final source of inspiration came from a recent (Sep.22nd) workshop I delivered to art students at Brookes University, which I enjoyed very much. So as well as Alexandra Trott, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory at Brookes, I also salute Sara Lowes, Curator of Learning at the Museum of Art Oxford and Anita Shervington, educator and STEM activist, who gave me the opportunity to deliver an art workshop at Manchester Carnival, held in Moss Side. I stand and salute this triumvirate, for their contribution to promoting African Studies.
We’ve heard of the Italian Renaissance, but not of the Harlem Renaissance? Who knows of Lois Jones and Augusta Savage? Or Patrick Kinuthia and Gerard Bhengu. Because we haven’t heard of them, or know little about them, it makes ventures such as this magazine necessary. So we’ll be looking at art from African-America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as the continent.
This original edition is in homage to John Muafangejo, the Namibian hero, who was born on the fifth of this month: he was blest to have been taught by another master of lino and woodcuts, the South African Azaria Mbatha. Both were recipients of teaching at the legendary Rhorke’s Drift Art and Craft Centre, founded by Swedish visionaries. The Swedes seem to have been promoters of arts and crafts in southern Africa, when you look at the glass-blowing skills, in present day Swaziland.
As we set out on this journey (embarking in Black History Month) to explore and celebrate the creativity of the continent and its diaspora, what better word to entitle our ship, than izibongo, the Zulu word for poetry of praise.”
Editor: Natty Mark Samuels
An African School Production
|Date:||September 29, 2017|
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