Where is South?
In partnership with Moleskine Foundation
June 13—July 21
To RSVP for the opening on the evening of June 12, which is free and open to the public, click here.
Where is South? features 22 hand-decorated notebooks made by young creative talents during the opening chapter of the Moleskine Foundation’s AtWork educational workshop tour in 2019.
Conducted by independent curator, lecturer, art critic, and writer Simon Njami, the Where is South? workshop invited 22 participants aged between 18 and 30 to spend a period of five days in intensive reflection and critical thinking. Guided by Njami and in dialogue with one other, the participants questioned the significance of “South” and what it meant to them. As Njami has stated:
“The word ‘South’ may seem to designate a precise point, but upon reflection, we realize that this is totally inaccurate. For instance, what does the term ‘Global South’ truly represent, if not a political statement—a way the world has chosen to name certain regions in contrast to others? Whenever I hear a reference to ‘countries from the South,’ I always wonder what the hidden message is. Even though it may be used as a claim or statement, ‘South’ is still somehow presumed to be inferior. Let us try to liberate the four points of the compass from any ideology, and reconsider them for what they are: directions. If we succeed in doing so, we will rediscover that South and North do not exist as such; rather, their meanings become activated through our way of thinking. No matter where we are, there is always a ‘South.’ Therefore, we hold the power to define its meaning: ‘South’ begins with us.”
The creative outcome of these reflections was poured into a notebook by each participant, producing the art works on view at The Africa Center.
Where is South? is presented alongside I had a dream, AtWork’s first major international exhibition featuring 100 hand-decorated notebooks made during the Moleskine Foundation’s AtWork educational workshop tour in 2018. The partnership between The Africa Center and the Moleskine Foundation reflects the two organizations’ shared values and purpose around fostering creativity among youth around the world, with a particular focus on innovation and inclusivity.
Many thanks to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture for the generous loan of their space to hold the Where is South? workshop.