Otobong Nkanga's new exhibition at Gropius Bau investigates the ecological, economic and political issues negotiated through landscapes. On entering 'There’s no such a thing as Solid Ground', visitors are invited to walk on pebbles, interspersed with boulders here and there. After months in which touching anything, including one’s own face, seemed reckless, the gallery attendant’s advice to “sit awhile if you like…the boulders have been sanitised” is indicative of a new gallery etiquette as much as it is a temporary reprieve from the collective restraint in public spaces lately. I join my fellow masked visitors and sit on an unoccupied boulder in the corner of the room. https://www.sleek-mag.com/article/otobong-nkanga-gropius-bau-breathing-landscape-repair/ Image: ©Laura Fiorio (the artist stands in front of 'Double Plot' 2018)

Three figures are in hot pursuit of a Black man. A thrown brick, still suspended mid-air, will land on his head at any moment. One member of the group grabs the man’s hand; another’s arm is raised angrily. Nearby, a traffic light switches to green, as if to sanction the imminent lynching. Titled with a variation of the German n-word, George Herold’s painting revived a debate on the authority of art museums to judge on issues of racism when it was recently exhibited at Frankfurt’s Städel Museum. https://frieze.com/article/racist-painting-reveals-blind-spots-german-art-institutions Image ©Städel Museum

With the inversion of West African Studio portraiture, Silvia Rosi’s exploration of heritage is both inward and outward. It is inward because the subjects she embodies in her photography are members of her own family. But It is also outward because the technique she applies to capture herself is quite common in the family albums of Rosi’s generation. Now known as West African Studio portraiture, it is an aesthetic that is celebrated in the work of trailblazers such as Mali’s Malick Sidibe and Ghana’s Felica Abban, and more recently in contemporary work by Rosi, who is reinterpreting the classic West African studio portrait by stripping it down to convey the lived realities of her family. https://griotmag.com/en/people-photography-silvia-rosi-studio-portrait/ Image: self-portrait as my father, 2020 ©Silvia Rosi

Based on her instantly recognizable work, Lawson belongs to a short list of photographers who in their commitment to the Black image both as a document and as an archive, have created a distinctive signature style. Born 1979 in Rochester (NY), Lawson hails from a family for whom photography has long served as a craft, a source of livelihood or, intermittently, both. Her father, the family photographer, worked for Xerox and her mother for Kodak in Rochester, New York, where Lawson grew up. Her grandmother cleaned the home of George Eastman, who invented and mainstreamed the use of roll film. http://griotmag.com/en/centropy-deana-lawson-exhibition/ Image: Chief, 2019 ©Deana Lawson & Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Even though many societies globally, including Germany, are conscious of widespread racism, it will take more than that to bring an end to the violence and racial profiling that permeate social structures and policing, writes Eric Otieno https://www.sleek-mag.com/article/structural-racism-awareness-undo-george-floyd-black-lives-matter/ Image: ©Ibrahim X. Kendi

In the opening scene of Sondela Forever, it is hard to catch the walking man in the wide frame. Once-green grass, now the colour of hay although it is still growing, stretches out as far as the eye can see. Above it, the expansive cloudy sky, in its blueish-grey hues, adds an air that is both dramatic and sullen to the frame. The man approaches slowly. Suddenly, we can see his shoulders from the back thanks to a swift cut and a tighter frame that conveys the calm before the storm of him running towards us in apparent resolve. But even then, he seems buoyant. [...] http://griotmag.com/en/sondela-forever-muzi-new/ Images: ©Muzi ©Camangu Studio

As an independent print magazine enthusiast, it is often baffling what folks will make mags about. There are indie mags about literally everything, including Rugby, Plantain, Eastern European encounters, Global Warming, Activism, Conflict, Typography, Cats—it’s actually called Cat People y’all—and loads of other stuff you didn’t even know existed, but which have steadfast communities around them. However, until the Lagos-based Ìrìn Journal came along, nobody appears to have had the foresight to create an independent print magazine dedicated to African cities, travel, and culture. http://griotmag.com/en/irin-journal-lagos-issue-africa-culture/ Photo by Baingor Joiner, Prototype’, National Theater via facebook/Ìrìn

If all we had was the written word, the ephemeral mysticism of rituals would be completely lost on us. We would run out adjectives faster than the performers of a ritual — in their temporal ecstasy — ran out of breath. Eventually, the performers regain their breath, leaving the witnesses — us — lost for words, grappling to describe an event that was never meant to be contended with but to be experienced: to be felt, seen, heard, touched? It is this dearth of language that confronts all who attempt to describe any ritual, including but not limited to the Southern Italian ritual of Tarantism. http://griotmag.com/en/tarantism-odyssey-of-an-italian-ritual-flee-project/ Image: © Chiara Samugheo

“One of Ivory Coast’s finest rising rappers is 22 years of age, has a fresh new EP out and didn’t exactly dream of becoming a rapper growing up. In fact, her sights were set entirely elsewhere: "Andy S’ first love was basketball, and she was actually planning to go pro, but her mother would have none of it “I was even invited to try out for the national team, but my mom didn’t want me to play basketball and made me quit. Her mother’s decision had rather unintended consequences. With plenty of time in her hands that she had previously filled with basketball training sessions, she formed a habit of listening to rap music.” http://griotmag.com/en/andy-s-le-rap-n-as-pas-de-sex/ Image: ©Tora San Traoré

‘Good things take time’ is in many ways a (re)tired cliché, time being the one thing that nobody seems to have—or make—these days. This is why a new tape from Johannesburg-based duo B_U (Be You) is set to be a solid reminder that sometimes, it does take time to create something good, especially in a music industry that is hopelessly addicted to novelty and speed. South African performance artist and vocalist KoekSista (Ulungile Magubane) and Ghanaian-Liberian producer and DJ Blaqkongo (Brendan Witherspoon) have given their latest project B_U: Session 1 the best of their talents, but importantly, they have given it their time. A decade on, it feels especially delightful to listen to the result. http://griotmag.com/en/b-u-session-1-pan-african-duo-debut-decade-making/ Image © Koeksista/Blaqkongo

Die Austellungen des Jahres 2019. Die Monopol-Redaktion hat gemeinsam mit Kritikerinnen und Kritikern des Magazin die Ausstellungshighlights 2019 gewählt. Die Künstlerinnen Henrike Naumann und Hannah Ryggen erhalten die meisten Nennungen. https://www.monopol-magazin.de/die-ausstellungen-des-jahres-2019. Image: Ausstellungsansicht von Jessica Kazriks “Two Barells Kissing Until Their Water Meets” in der Ausstellung “The long term you cannot afford, on the distribution of the Toxic”, Savvy Contemporary Berlin. Bild © Hannes Wiedemann

“The word ‘hospitality’ sounds a bit old-fashioned. In a globalised world where every (Easy)jetsetter with the right passport, outfit and vocabulary can be a ‘local’ anywhere, the role of hospitality—outside of the hospitality industry itself—has waned. These days one is tolerant or cosmopolitan, rarely hospitable. So it is quite interesting that award-winning writer Teju Cole and equally acclaimed photographer Fazal Sheikh decided to take on this somewhat dated virtue in their latest book, Human Archipelago.” http://griotmag.com/en/human-archipelago-teju-cole-fazal-sheikh-explore-notions-hospitality-latest-photo-book/ Image © Human Archipelago by Fazal Sheikh and Teju Cole/Steidl

“Having returned for its second edition last week, it is one of the latest beneficiaries of the shift towards an economy of event-based art experiences. The second edition of Nigeria’s first and only biennial has defied both discursive (the biennial is dying/dead) and material odds to get here, beautifully parsed by its poetic title: How to Build a lagoon With Just a Bottle of Wine?, taken from the poem “A Song for Lagos” by Akeem Lasisi.” https://www.sleek-mag.com/article/why-lagos-biennial-is-one-to-watch/ Image © Eman Ali

Kommentar zur Leitfaden des Deutschen Museumbundes zum Umgang mit Sammlungsgut aus Kolonialen Kontexten https://otienos.com/projects/6669548 Image © Eric Otieno

On spotting a lone copy of Afropean on the shelves of one of those good bookstores we are told we should support, I was surprised that the publisher had signed off on what I thought was a brave title for a book. The subtitle “Notes from Black Europe” was discreet enough to arouse curiosity, but there was something about the proclamation—Afropean—in bold white letters and without quotation marks that unsettled me[…] http://griotmag.com/en/review-afropean-notes-black-europe-johnny-pitts/ Image © Johny Pitts

Attia puts the body at the centre of his 2018 piece The Body’s Legacies, Part 2: The Postcolonial Body. The 48 minute film installation is an exploration of the place of the immigrant body in Western societies, uncovering the traits that have been attributed to it historically and that continue to shape perceptions to date. http://griotmag.com/en/kader-attia-the-postcolonial-body-short-theatre-rome/

"Having just arrived from her base in New York, via Switzerland, Nora Chipaumire is settling in, making breakfast in her AirBnB in an area of Rome that tourists rarely venture to when she joins our video call. Unlike the tourists, she doesn’t mind the gritty neighbourhood at all, seeing as it is such neighbourhoods that have often birthed the artforms that Nora engages with in her practise as a performing artist. In Rome for the Short Theatre festival 2019, she and her team are set to perform 100% POP, part of her newest three-part piece #PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA (verbalized as hash tag punk, one hundred percent pop, star nigga), for the first time in Rome, Italy. http://griotmag.com/en/nora-chipaumire-100-pop-nigga-punk-interview/ Image ©Ian Douglas

“Certain that the mood of his recent release Paris! would best be conveyed by an abstract urbanscape, and not having been to Paris himself, Aylo (stylised as AYLØ) presented himself with an interesting challenge for the accompanying video. This exciting genre-fluid Lagosian artist felt that going to Paris would have been conceptually lazy. So tapping into the same creative source from which his rich and complex music has emerged, Aylo partnered with Candles Film to recreate a gritty black-and-white au Parisienne aesthetic in Lagos.” http://nataal.com/aylo

" ‘Space is the Place’ at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien made headlines this week on account of its contentious curatorial concept that fixates on Elon Musk and its blatant lack of diversity. Eric Otieno explains how the gallery got it wrong". https://www.sleek-mag.com/article/afrofuturism-kunstlerhaus-bethanien/

"Das Wort “Gastfreundschaft” klingt etwas altmodisch. In Zeiten der Globalisierung, in der jeder easyjet-setter mit entsprechendem Pass, Outfit, Wortschatz und Habitus überall ein “local” sein kann, ist die Rolle der Gastfreundschaft in den Hintergrund gerückt. Heute ist man tolerant, bestenfalls weltoffen, aber selten gastfreundlich. Der preisgekrönte Schriftsteller Teju Cole und der ebenfalls gefeierte Fotograf Fazal Sheikh haben zusammen ein neues Fotobuch herausgebracht, in dem diese alte Tugend abgestaubt wird […]". || Weiterlesen im Monopol Magazin Heft Juli/August 2019. https://otienos.com/projects/7007012 Bild: (c) Steidl Verlag