Reclaim: Narratives Of African Women Artists

AWARE, Online, France
13 Apr 2021 - 15 Apr 2021

Billie Zangewa, In my Solitude, 2018, 150 x 111 cm, Courtesy Templon, Paris – Bruxelles, © Billie Zangewa. Photo: Jurie Potgieter

Billie Zangewa, In my Solitude, 2018, 150 x 111 cm, Courtesy Templon, Paris – Bruxelles, © Billie Zangewa. Photo: Jurie Potgieter

This symposium occurs in the context of a partnership with the Africa2020 Season, a pan-African and multidisciplinary event that takes place in France from December 2020 to mid-July 2021. It is organized by AWARE in cooperation with the École du Louvre.

Bringing together researchers from various horizons, this symposium aims to shed light on the research on African women artists and to integrate them into the founding narratives of art history. and to bring African perspectives to the foundational narratives of art history. The past few decades have seen concerted drive in Europe and the United States to produce global art histories, with little participation by scholars from other parts of the world, especially Africa. Alongside this initiative is an unprecedented growth in the number of research and writing on modern and contemporary African art. Major monographs on individual artists, groups and national art movements have appeared in recent years. Yet, only very few women artists have been featured in these publications, despite that they played important roles in the making of these histories. This symposium offers a critical platform for established and emerging scholars to evaluate and re-examine existing histories and archives as well as recover new ones to more fully account for the significance of work by African women artists past and present. Among the guiding questions for this symposium are: How have modern and contemporary art history in Africa been written? Which histories, media, identities, genders have been forgotten and which have been overlooked? Which new narratives do we need for the writing of more comprehensive future art histories?

The proposed interventions will examine four different axes, four types of “narratives” that will create a framework for reflection: Forgotten narratives, narratives of womanhood, narratives of media, and institutional narratives.

Practical information
The symposium will take place online from 13 to 16 April 2021, over four afternoons from 2 to 6 pm Paris time (UTC + 1).
It will be translated in French and English.

Registration is free and can be done via the following links – caution, each day has its own link:
April 13 – Forgotten Narratives
April 14 – Narratives of Womanhood
April 15 – Narratives of Media
April 16 – Institutional Narratives


Find the full program and more information here:


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