[AeM 95/2021] - Call for papers - Contemporary art and creative clothing practices in Africa and the Diaspora

Genre : Calls for papers
Contact details Ivan Bargna
Principal country concerned : Column : Arts and crafts
Release/publication date : May 2021
Published on : 26/05/2021

Merci pour votre attention.
Mes salutations les plus cordiales

Ivan Bargna

Back to the Future Contemporary art and creative clothing practices in Africa and the Diaspora

Africa e Mediterraneo Dossier n. 95/2021, edited by Paul-Henri S. Assako Assako,
Ivan Bargna, Giovanna Parodi da Passano, Gabi Scardi.

Artists who work on the material and symbolic transformations of the body that arise from
clothing practices can offer an important glimpse into the transformations taking place in Africa
and the Diaspora. Clothing through the interplay of compositions and decompositions,
combinations and contrasts, the new and the old, allows you to prefigure and experiment with
new and different lifestyles in a context which is becoming increasingly mobile and precarious.
In this way, artists can be seen as "cultural mediators" who imaginatively and creatively capture
in their works the most widely spread lifestyles and cultural sensibilities.
An outfit is often the projection of desire, possible and impossible self-experimentations, which
forms part of the script of one's life. Outfits are disguises and masks that follow the ephemeral
temporality of fashion or that try to imagine a future, leaving behind the past or recapturing it
in a different light.
Clothing practices in contemporary art, in fashion and in the aesthetics of everyday life are
spaces in which one becomes visible, one negotiates and one imposes oneself, remodelling the
shapes of one's body and one's field of action. Claimed or experienced, clothing is a place and
instrument of identity pride, of discrimination and social exclusion, of exchanges,
appropriations and border crossings.
Contemporary artists are actively engaged in this field through their experimentation with new
ways of creating individual and collective bodies and alternative relationship models.
On this basis, we invite artists, photographers, designers, stylists, fashion creators, activists and
scholars to participate with texts and visual contributions that tell of their experiences,
professional activities and research.

Among the topics of reflection that we suggest are:
- The daily aesthetics of clothing in Africa and the diaspora.
- Clothing as a place and tool for the transformation of the body, as a place for memory, desire,
experimentation and self-invention.
- Clothing as a place of construction and deconstruction of individual, cultural, "racial" and
gender identities.
- Contemporary Africa and colonial wardrobe: artists, stylists and those who uncover and
source family, community and national stories whose images tell of body and clothing practices
as signs of subordination, assimilation, but also of dissent and of the emancipation from
previous generations.
- Clothing as a political stance.
- Clothing as a symbol of suffered violence and as a form of resistance.
- The ways in which the Black Lives Matter movement has brought racialised bodies back onto
the public stage, also by casting attention on clothing practices.
- Reinvention of tradition in the re-modelling of local cultural heritage and within the currents
of globalisation, between nostalgia, ironic and disenchanted uses of the past and projections
into the future.
- Art and fashion as a space of encounters and clashes, exchanges and appropriations.

Africa e Mediterraneo
Via Gamberi 4 - I-40037 Sasso Marconi (BO)
tel. + 39 051 840166 - fax + 39 051 6790117
redazione@africaemediterraneo.it - www.africaemediterraneo.it

The editors
Paul-Henri Souvenir Assako Assako - PhD, senior lecturer, head of the Art History and Fine
Arts Department at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, and Director of Libre Académie
des Beaux-arts (LABA) Douala. He has been working with experts from Munich since 2010,
exploring possibilities for cultural and artistic cooperation. Support was provided by the
Goethe-Institut in Yaoundé, the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Dutch Mondriaan Stichting.
His academic research focuses on the transformation of visual art in the 20th century in Africa.
His research takes the form of writing, curated exhibitions, and symposiums which he has
organised with several partners and the Italian NGO COE, the Goethe-Institut, Doual'art, Enough
Room for Space.

Ivan Bargna - Professor at the University of Milan-Bicocca where he teaches Aesthetic
Anthropology and Media Anthropology. He is the director of studies for the undergraduate
course in Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and the postgraduate course in Museum
and Art Anthropology. He is also a professor of Cultural Anthropology at Bocconi University.
Since 2001 he has been conducting his ethnographic research in Cameroon where he deals with
artistic practices and visual culture. He collaborates with artists and contemporary art curators
in the implementation of interdisciplinary projects based on ethnographic practice. He is a
member of the scientific committee of the Museo delle Culture in Milan and curator of

Giovanna Parodi da Passano - Professor of Africanist Anthropology on the Master's degree
course in "Historical Sciences" of DAFIST, University of Genoa. Africanist by training, she has
mainly conducted her ethnographic research in West Africa, in the Akan and Yoruba cultural
areas. Her current research focuses on the creative practices of clothing and contemporary
artists in Africa and in African diasporas that use fabrics and the construction and
deconstruction of the dressed body. In regards to these topics, she has curated exhibitions,
participated in international conferences and published studies including African Power
Dressing (2015, edited by).

Gabi Scardi - Gabi Scardi is an art historian, curator of contemporary art and teacher. Her
research focuses on the latest artistic trends and on the relationships between art and
neighbouring areas related to living and cohabitation, to urban and intercultural dynamics. She
is interested in cultural politics. Among other things, she has curated numerous public projects.
She has worked with museums and institutions in Italy and abroad. The following are some of
her exhibitions on the relationship between art and clothing: miAbito (Francesco Bertelé,
Francesca Marconi, Margherita Morgantin, Wurmkos), Milan 2018-19; Emilio Fantin, Ultrapelle,
Farmacia Wurmkos, Milan 2018; Fashion as Social Energy, Palazzo Morando, Milan 2015;
Aware: Art Fashion Identity, GSK Contemporary, Royal Academy, London 2010.

The proposals (title, abstract of max. 400 words, author and a short biography) must be
submitted no later than **July 15th 2021** to the following addresses
s.federici@africaemediterraneo.it and s.saleri@laimomo.it . The proposals will be judged by the
editors. If the proposal is accepted, the full article (including abstract and biography) must be
submitted by **October 15th 2021**. The articles and the proposals can be submitted in the
following languages: Italian, English and French, but articles in English and French will be given
priority. Africa e Mediterraneo is a peer reviewed journal.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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