ADS2021: Day Thirteen


Past, Present & Future: An Exhibition of Contemporary African Art

This exhibition showcases the work of six acclaimed contemporary African artists whose works are held at galleries across the globe, from the Americas to Zimbabwe. 

The selected works reflect the theme of the Africa Dialogue Series, “Cultural identity and ownership: reshaping mindsets,” which is drawn from the African Union’s theme of the year, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.” 

Anchored in Africa’s appreciation of the past and present, as well as hopes for the future, this eclectic collection tells an African story. The artists’ choice of various media for their works, reflect the diversity, creativity and resourcefulness of Africans. 

A celebration of the continent through art, the selected works tell the story of Africa’s past, present and future. They bring out the contrast between the diversity and similarities among Africans, encompassing the common heritage, history and values, while also reflecting the rich and distinct cultures that make the continent unique. The selection weaves a narrative of the Africa we want and tells a compelling story of unity in diversity. 

We invite you to enjoy this journey, into Africa’s past, present and future, through the eyes of the artists.  


Conversation with African artists

2nd Conversation Artists

In this conversation, artists discuss the critical role of art and artists in building “the Africa we want.”  

In line with the Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) theme for 2021, “Cultural identity and ownership: reshaping mindsets,” the conversation explores the value of Africa’s art and culture within the context of the ADS’s three sub-themes:1. Sustainable peace for development: factoring in history, 2. Harnessing Culture and Heritage for economic transformation, and 3. Human Capital: culture and heritage unleashing the potential.

The panel covers a range of topics ranging from identity, ownership and inclusivity. They discuss the pertinent question of how Africa’s unique and diverse cultures can be harnessed for the continent’s benefit and interrogate what needs to be done by policy makers and investors to support the growth of this industry and bring out its full potential.  This rich discussion proffers pragmatic and inclusive solutions to resolving challenges in order to capitalize on Africa’s rich cultural heritage and tap into the arts industry to enhance the continent’s development. 


Southern Kingdoms - History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 13]

Southern Kingdoms - History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 13]

In this episode, Zeinab Badawi travels to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia to find out about the powerful kingdoms of southern Africa and their rulers from 10th to 19th century, like the Mutapa kingdom that stretched across portions of eight modern-day southern African countries.

We hear about one military ruler who repeatedly saw off Portuguese invaders, and we admire the incredible ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone settlement in Africa south of the Sahara.

Foreign visitors could not believe that this towering civilisation dating from the 1100s was built by Africans. The reality is that Great Zimbabwe is the most striking example of the kingdoms that flourished in southern Africa.

Related Documents


ADS2021 Public Policy Forum