Call for contributions 5th edition SAVVY journal

At The Shrine. Reflections, Reciprocalities and Reverberations: Fine Art and Music

The fifth edition of the SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art will explore the influence of music on contemporary art practices and map interfaces between visual media, fine art, and music in the African and African diaspora context. The title of this collection, “At the Shrine” is a reference to Fela Kuti‘s Shrine Nightclub and concert venue; a cultural space and an epitome of a social sculpture. This music venue captures our vision of the links between visual expression, music, and critical inquiry.

The mutual relationship between music and fine art, which goes back to time immemorial, manifests itself on different levels. Both artistic languages inform each other in diverse enriching ways. Some of these points of intersection that have crystallized and proven to be ground-breaking in a variety of disciplines in recent decades include, but are not limited to: Performance/ Performativity - e.g. the enigmatic blend of music and performance art, as in the case of Les Têtes Brulées, or the socio-political vigour channelled through the audio and visual of Fela Kuti’s music, which has since been an important source of inspiration for many visual artists; Photography - e.g. the presence of James Brown’s music in Malick Sidibe’s photography, the synergy between Johannesburg’s jazz scene and a whole generation of Drum photographers, or the field of music portraiture championed by the likes of Samuel Nja Kwa; Video - ranging from video art, as in the case of Goddy Leye’s “We Are The World”, to music video clips featuring a variety of musical styles from Azonto, through Coupé Decalé or Kwaito to Rai that have completely transformed the production and consumption of popular culture in Africa; Illustration, Patterning, and Painting - which have been essential in the making of outstanding record covers and album posters; the interconnectedness between music and fashion design; the influence of the likes of Sun Ra on Afrofuturism; Experimental Composition and Sound Art as in the case of Emeka Ogboh;Theatre/ Theatricality - the links in popular theatre traditions between multimedia theatre groups that rely on popular music bands and sign-board painters, such as in Ghanaian and Nigerian Concert Party traditions; Electronica - artists, musicians are creatively reusing music software, online resources, and mobile phone technologies to refigure older styles of music, dance, communication and visual imaging. Some of these forms are explicitly understood as art while others are ephemeral forms of expression. Street Art – graffiti, spoken word, poetry, street dance are forms that link musical, political and counter-cultural expression.

This edition of SAVVY Journal is not intended as an anthology of music and fine art. Instead, we ask contributors to investigate where disciplines meet, how genres are demarcated, and what emerges from their various encounters, as well as explore the nexus between performativity, fine art, music and technology. Indeed we are concerned with the ways in which ideas of genre and modality are themselves made and unmade in artistic practice. We are interested in articles on the role of sound appropriation in the conceptualisation of art works and of visual aspects in the creation, performance and consumption of sound and music.

Furthermore, this edition will explore and identify those artists who, using various textures and formats, work on this crossroad of sound and vision. Also, from a more general point of view, we are interested in reflections on how the encounter of image and sound in popular music has influenced culture and society. The impact of soundtracks on social and political movements on and beyond the continent would be another fascinating topic.

For this edition, the SAVVY Journal editorial will be enriched by the following guest-editors:

Dr. Hauke Dorsch (African Music Archives, Mainz), Ntone Edjabe (Chimurenga / Pan African Space Station, Cape Town) and Prof. Jesse Weaver Shipley (Haverford College, Philadelphia).

We invite essays from writers of all backgrounds - artists, curators, art historians, and theoreticians, scholars - not exceeding 3500 words in length, discussing the above mentioned or related issues.

Additionally, we are interested in more general articles such as artist-features, exhibition reviews and previews of circa 1500 words.

For more information please visit

Submissions to:

Deadline: 15th August 2013


12.04.2013 | por franciscabagulho | Call for contributions

Convocatória Casa África

Casa África convoca por quinto año consecutivo los Premios de Ensayo Casa África, con los que pretende reconocer, incentivar y divulgar ensayos originales e inéditos que contribuyan a un mejor conocimiento del continente africano.   

La ciudad africana, su desarrollo, su presente y su futuro, serán los protagonistas de esta convocatoria de los Premios de Ensayo Casa África. Bajo el título RETOS Y OPORTUNIDADES DEL DESARROLLO URBANO EN ÁFRICA, el tema permite abarcar una gran cantidad de disciplinas, que van desde el urbanismo y la arquitectura a la demografía, la sostenibilidad y el medio ambiente, la sociología o la economía, teniendo siempre como epicentro la ciudad africana.  

Los ensayos podrán presentarse en cualquiera de los siguientes idiomas: español, inglés, francés o portugués y deberán ser remitidos exclusivamente por correo electrónico a la dirección

El plazo para el envío de los ensayos y la documentación requerida finaliza el lunes 15 de julio de 2013.  El premio consiste en la publicación del ensayo ganador en la Colección de Ensayo que editan la institución y Libros de La Catarata y en la entrega de 3.500 euros al autor.

mas info:

19.03.2013 | por franciscabagulho | Call for contributions

Call for Submissions: African Cities Reader III: land, property and value

The African Cities Reader is a journal-like platform where Africans tell their own stories, draw their own maps and represent their own spatial topographies as our cities continue to evolve and adapt at the interstice of difference, complexity, opportunism, and irony. The intervention is premised on the fact that the cultural, livelihood, religious, stylistic, commercial, familial, knowledge producing and navigational capacities of African urbanites are typically overlooked, unappreciated and undervalued. The aim of the African Cities Reader is to bring their stories and practices to the fore through a variety of genres and experiments in criticality. 

The third African Cities Reader will explore the unholy trinity of land, property and value-the life force of cities everywhere - especially in an era of late modernity marked by a speculative impulse that takes on a spectral character as it instigates adventures of city imagineering, deal-making, and symbolic reinvestment. The material effects of which is often displacement, violence, day light robbery and night time seduction. This incessant (re)making of the African city is a game that leaves few untouched or unmoved. 
As too many demands are placed on too few infrastructural endowments, land and living space come at a premium. Ingrained differential standards of what constitutes “acceptable” or “adequate” levels of consumption create a grotesque reflection of class and other markers of hierarchy in the built landscape. And in the absence of widespread formal and regular sources of income, most city dwellers are forced to hedge every shred of connection, cunning, positioning and affiliation to retain a foothold or expand their room for manoeuvre. The third instalment of the African Cities Reader will bring these constitutive dynamics to life. 
Specifically, we are looking for imaginative reflections on the recent phenomenon of investment in urban utopias for the global middle-class unmoored from the messy realities of emergent urbanisms. In fact, the investment, construction, marketing and governance dynamics of these experiments reflect a fascinating geography of rapidly changing geo-economics in an increasingly multi-polar world. At the other end of the spectrum, we are also curious about the enduring traces of autonomous artist colonies or spaces; often modest material interventions but with powerful symbolic effects. Asef Bayat draws our attention to what he calls “the quiet encroachment of the ordinary” - survival practices of urban majorities that involve the relentless occupation of resources at the expense of elites to simply get by, but which add up to a redefinition of land-use, settlement patterns and resource flows in the city. (Bayat, A. (2000) ‘Social Movements, Activism and Social Development in the Middle East’, Civil Society and Social Movements Programme Paper, Geneva: UNRISD). Stories, theorisations and illustrations that flesh out this proposition are invited. 
Furthermore, the new and emerging forces of power and investment cannot but imprint themselves on the urban fabric. Their power and status demands a built manifestation. So, we are curious to better understand the changing visual landscapes and cultures as religious, commercial, ethnic, security and other forces announce their power and intentions. How might these symbolic economies be redeployed and ridiculed as ordinary people move in and out of their intentions of place-making? 
Developmentalist discources on tenure security as a gateway to urban citizenship has been part of the mainstream for at least three decades. What has this resulted in? Why is there still such an abiding optimism about the magical powers of title and tenure security? Where might these discourses go to next? How can they possibly make sense of the vast peri-urban dynamics that now dominate the lived reality of most African cities? 
Finally, since African cities and towns (including new ones) will have to accommodate at least another four hundred million people over the next two decades, what is the future of land, property and value? What alternative imaginaries are available to us to think about the bare fact of co-existence, being, and home? Is there even a horizon to be thought or imagined? What might the hue of that horizon be? 
In keeping with previous manifestations, the third African Cities Reader remains open to multiple genres (literature, philosophy, faction, reportage, ethnographic narrative, etc.), forms of representation (text, image, sound and possibly performance), and points of view. The African Cities Reader insists on embodying the rich pluralism, cosmopolitanism and diversity of emergent urbanisms across Africa. Thus, the Reader invites and undertake to commission writing and art by practitioners, academics, activists and artists from diverse fields across Africa in all of her expansiveness. 
Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, 31st August 2012, and should be submitted electronically in Word format and low-res jpg to the email address below. Submissions may vary in subject matter and will be assessed on their relevance to theme. All work should accompany a short abstract, biography and relevant contact details. 

For further information contact:
Liepollo Rantekoa: 


25.07.2012 | por franciscabagulho | Call for contributions

Call for Contributions RAJEC/AYRN

The AYRN is a Pan-African research organisation founded by African young academics and researchers in Abidjan in 2010 and which is being coordinated from Abidjan, Bamako, Dakar, Nairobi and Kinshasa. The general constitutive assembly will be held soon to officially launch the organisation. Our headquarters will soon be established and we will have a website up soon. The AYRN was born in the heart of the Ivory Coast crisis bearing the symbol of the determination of young African intellectuals to face the challenge of building Africa. For more information on the AYRN, also write to contacts listed in this call.
AYRN is launching a call for papers on the theme “Africa and Development: assessment and challenges for African youth” for a collection of papers on the theme to be published in book form by l’Harmattan. Contributions are welcome from young academics, young researchers, young experts from governmental and non-governmental development organisations and civil society. The book will be launched in 2012. Paper proposals should reflect a sound relevance to the general theme of the book and address any of the following

  1. Approaches, ideologies, discourses on development

The aim is to critically interrogate discourses, theoretical approaches, and ideologies (established, recent, and dead ones) of development in Africa and locate political and intellectual anachronisms, linkages and innovations on development. Is it possible to find a new alternative concept without falling in the trap of the current normative and conceptual gridlock?

  1. Democratisation and development

The beginning of the 21st century in Africa has been marked by an important upsurge of violence as one of the main political idioms, testifying to the unfinished character of democratization and to the vigor of the mobilisation that often characterised the latter. The stakes of such violent modes of access and being in the public sphere as well as the ways in which they are legitimised merit a closer look. The same can be said about the identitary constructions of social and economic inclusion and exclusion, which should be first of all related to political and geostrategic calculus. How do such identitary constructions of groups and their interest influence social and political mobilisation and the access or not to resources and circuits of accumulation and production? We also welcome original and critical reflections on social movements; how do social movements redefine the relationship between democratization and development?  

  1. Regional integration and development

Instead of refreshing nostalgic and militant analyses, contributors are invited to critically consider the securitisation of the development agenda and discourses and how they impact on the practices of development throughout the continent. To what extent have African regional organisations been able to carry the development agenda?  Do they still have the capacity to produce imaginaries, norms, practical benchmarks and viable consensus around development in the continent? Instead of merely containing foreign intellectual and expert incursions, can they put an end to them and, if need be, eliminate the macro-political processes that appear to be detrimental to their member states and peoples? 

  1. ‘New global politics’ and development

Less than a novelty, new global politics rather evokes the complexity that characterises the international order and the way in which continuities and breaks with the past redefine the relationship between Africa and the various international actors. Furthermore, concern is about how resources and modalities of African development entail a revision of the international political and economic balances as well as a challenge to the intra-continental political stability. Contributors are expected to review and assess the theoretical and conceptual linkages between global politics and African development, and characterise the practical implications of these on various issues: the effects of disciplinary and regulatory procedures of the international political and economic order on African development, especially as they may be of relevance to the viability of the global and continental frameworks of the commercial management and exploitation of African resources.

  1. Uncertainties, marginalisations and development

This subtheme is an occasion for contributors to think about the challenges and prospects of development from the perspective of relationships between states and societies, elites and masses, social seniors and juniors, gender relationships, and ethnic minorities and majorities, etc. In other words, concern is about the theoretical and conceptual limitations in naming the popular dynamics of “resistance” and “survival”, towards a better and refreshed or renewed understanding of current and upcoming uncertainties, of processes of marginalization and innovation, especially when sound development alternatives are hard to find.

  1. National public policies and development

The concern here is about the challenges that paradoxically emerged out from ancient and new achievements in the field of development in Africa, though scant they may have been. Account should be taken of the related political stakes such as access to new representative and governmental roles in the new governance and developmental spaces which the megalopolis and secondary urban centers have become. The interface between political mobilisation and citizen participation on the one hand, and public policies on the other should attract much attention from contributors. The issue of social and economic rights through the lenses of the imbalances between urban and rural governance and developmental spaces finds thus a peculiar importance. The same can be said about the link between urbanization, environment and settlements.


Every paper proposal must consist of a two-pages document containing:

The title of the paper and the subtheme with which it deals;

  1. The institutional affiliation and a brief biography of the author and an concise indication of his interest for the subtheme;
  2. An abstract of the proposal (in English or in French) of 300 words maximum, including keywords (5 words, max.)

Proposals should be sent before 30 October 2011. The scientific committee will preselect a set of most critical and relevant proposals and send information to their authors on 30 November 2011. Preselected authors should then send their final papers to the editing board before 1 March 2012.

Paper proposals should be sent to:

20.10.2011 | por joanapires | academics, AYRN, Call for contributions, civil society, experts, organisations, RAJEC, researchers

Call for contributions to the bilingual art journal: Savvy – Contemporary African Art

Call for contributions to the bilingual art journal: 

Savvy – Art. Contemporary. African.

Savvy – Kunst. Zeitgenössisch. Afrikanisch.

On September 1st the first edition of this art journal will be launched.

The aim of the journal is to revitalise an open and academic discourse on contemporary artistic positions and art projects related to Africa and its diaspora.

With the first issue entitled ‘Where do we go from here?’ the journal strives, on the one hand, at partaking in and steering the current debate on contemporary African art, and on the other hand at formulating and instigating new critical questions, positions and discourses. The terms “African art” and “contemporary African art” are fiercely debated upon with regards to its “contemporaneousness” and what position can/ should/ must African art claim for itself in the current art world. This journal aims, with zeal and zest, not only at shading light on these

issues but also at paving the way for a new generation, as well as a shift in the subject matter from the defensive ‚colonial, post-/ Neo-colonial’ focus to an offensive, self-confident and interdisciplinary cultural, fine art and art historical nucleus. ‘Where do we go from here?’ is a call for participation in this discussion.

A further focal point lies is the art scene in the German-speaking countries. In the last decades there have been big international and spectacular as well as small innovative exhibitions in these countries with artists from Africa and its diaspora. The differences in the quality of these exhibitions, the perspectives of art and artists, as well as the methodologies of curating contemporary African art have been of enormous divergence.

Savvy – Art. Contemporary. African. aims at establishing a platform, wherein a vent can be created in these deadlocked structures of dealing with contemporary African art. 

articles until 01.08.2010.  in an English and a German version and should not be longer than 3500 words.Contact:

The editorial board (Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Simone Kraft, Sophie Eliot, Dorina Hecht, Andrea Heister)   Savvy – Art. Contemporary. African. 

14.06.2010 | por franciscabagulho | Call for contributions