The exhibition African Mobilities addresses the complex forms of mobility within Africa and the diaspora. In the current situation, in which international borders are being redrawn, managed and monitored by force, and in which individual countries are increasingly subject to the affects of capitalist profit cycles, it is time to look into architectural forms which respond to these supposedly set structures. African cities are presented here as sites of refuge, which in their rapid transformation are producing new architectural typologies, changes in infrastructure and a rapidly expanding interaction with digital technologies. In this context, African migration is seen both as a challenge and as an opportunity for rethinking architecture and urban planning. In preparation for this exhibition, over the past two years architects, town planners, film-makers, artists, social scientists and authors from Africa met at 8 different locations: Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, New York, Dakar, Praia and Munich. In workshops, they analysed this continually evolving world, and used diverse media to convey their research outcomes, and to visualize possible future urban scenarios. In the exhibition African Mobilities, South African curator Mpho Matsipa from the University of the Witwatersrand brings together the works that came out of those meetings, including artworks, graphic novels, films and audiobooks. Ilze Wolff, a co-director at Wolff Architects in Cape Town, is creating the exhibition design, which captures the various forms of mobility among migrants in a spatial composition.
In lieu of a catalogue, and in keeping with the exhibition theme, a website has been launched to coincide with the opening of the exhibition at www.africanmobilities.org
. The website will enable the exhibition to reach a wider audience beyond the Pinakothek der Moderne.
During the course of the exhibition, there will be a range of additional events, such as DJ sessions, talks and a conference Munich Exchange, which will take place on 26 April 2018 in the Vorhoelzer-Forum at the TU München. The conference will present talks by participants of the exhibition, including Olalekan Jeyifous (artist, NYC), Mabel Wilson (researcher, Columbia University, NYC) and the exhibition architect Ilze Wolff (architect, Cape Town). All events are open to the public.
African Mobilities is a collaboration between the Architekturmuseum der TU München in the Pinakothek der Moderne and the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). The initiative is supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The project was produced with the support of the Goethe Institute, which will also be involved in the upcoming tour of the exhibition on the African continent.