As we near the end of 2022, we want to reflect on the last twelve months and also thank everyone that has supported our work. This year was full of changes, particularly as the world continues to grapple with COVID. In many ways we can still see the impact these disruptions have had on the public in terms of limiting travel and access to resources. Yet, the world is opening up again. We can see the resiliency and progress made by artists of all walks of life. African artists have produced stellar work across the board. For the first time, in over two years writers, and musicians have been able to host in-person events. We were able to attend book launches, art exhibitions and concerts.
Here at Omusana Review we continue to document and critically engage works by African artists and writers. We visited the group Exhibition, In the Black Fantastic curated by Ekow Eshun, at the South Bank Centre’s Hayward Gallery. The show took on a fantastical, futuristic gaze in discussing how race impacts our daily life. The gorgeous body suits by Nick Cave were a real standout (see above image). In addition, works by Kara Walker, Chris Ofili, Wangechu Mutu–asked us to engage with questions of mythology, origin, and knowledge.
Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah was also a highlight this year. Mr. Gurnah was in conversation with Tope Folarin at Sixth and I in Washington D.C., promoting his tenth novel, Afterlives. This book is a sequel to the much acclaimed Paradise—a novel that explores slavery in the interior of East Africa before the arrival of Europeans. Afterlives, picks up where Paradise left off and examines the entry of the Germans in Zanzibar. We also enjoyed listening to Namwali Serpell discussing her new novel, The Furrows, which focuses on themes of grief. Warsaw Shire, also returned to the Southbank Centre to debut her much anticipated poetry collection, Bless the Child Raised By A Voice in Her Head, which touches on themes of personal and political autonomy.
Last but not least was our in-depth conversation with Phin Jennings of Rise Art, who curated Nelson Makamo’s first solo exhibition in London. It was a real pleasure to speak with Phin and read the pulse of where contemporary art from Africa is today. Please revisit this interview on our site.
Wishing you all a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you in 2023.