Articles (2)

Current writing work for M.Bassy Journal. All articles are available via the URL below in English and German. The screenshots of articles appear below in the following order:

Sept 2017: Book Review | Not African Enough
by the NEST collective (Buchrezension Not African Enough vom NEST Kollektiv)

M.Bassy is a non-profit organization based in Hamburg. Its goal is to promote contemporary African and African-inspired artists and creatives – especially in the areas of design, fashion, and music. With More Aphrike, the public salon of M.Bassy, a space for public encounter and exchange is created in order to share and celebrate (global) African & Afrodiasporic culture.

(c) M.Bassy Hamburg

(c) The Nest Collective

The dynamic fashion scene in Kenya has seen a number of emerging designers entering the market in the last few years. These newcomers have been channelling their diverse influences - many of which are Kenyan by default- into edgy, timeless designs. However, they have had a challenging time finding what would be considered ‘African’ inspiration by the gatekeepers of the fashion industry. The phrase “Not African Enough” has been used to dismiss their work in a global fashion scene that is both yearning for design inspiration from the continent, but that is also quick to define the limits and authenticity of ‘African-ness’.

(c) The Nest Collective

Not African Enough is a homage to this vigour. It foregrounds fashion design in a way that rejects the alterity that the West has continued to attribute to the Continent, and that Africans have come to half-heartedly accept. It is a ‘rallying-call’ to fashion designers that are home-grown, ingenious and inspired by their contexts, but that also effortlessly transcend the limits & expectations implied by the ambiguity of categories such as ‘African fashion’ or ‘African design’. Not African Enough set out to dismantle the super-concept of Africa and its counter-productive role in contemporary fashion design thinking. Already, this book has succeeded by leaps and bounds, but don’t take my word for it.