• Where is Africa
    Emanuel Admassu and Anita N. Bateman
    Valerie Amani, Salome Asega, Meskerem Assegued, Mikael Awake, Germane Barnes, Anthony Bogues, Rehema Chachage, Rebecca Corey, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Mario Gooden, Eric Gottesman, Mesai Haileleul, Olalekan Jeyifous, Mpho Matsipa, Aida Mulkozi, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Niama Safia Sandy, Rakeb Sile, Elias Sime, Jay Simple, Tau Tavengwa, Robel Temesgen, Amanda Williams, and Mabel O. Wilson
    Center for Art, Research and Alliances, 2022
    Emanuel Admassu & Anita N. Bateman

Jay Simple, “Who Landed at Plymouth Rock,” 2018. Photograph, 20 x 30 inches. Courtesy the artist

Where is Africa actively seeks to unpack the imperialist foundations of cultural institutions and their anthropological fascinations with African objects, people, and places by promoting dialogue, memory, and everyday practice to construct what theorist Mpho Matsipa calls a “counter-cartography.” Contemporary artists, architects, designers, and academics discuss artist collectives, new currents in architecture and design, and the rise of contemporary art festivals in and about Africa from the past ten years through a series of interviews and original interventions.

Emanuel Admassu is an architect and assistant professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). He is a founding partner, with Jen Wood, of AD—WO, an art and architecture practice based in New York, and by extension, between Melbourne and Addis Ababa. He is also a founding board member of the Black Reconstruction Collective. Admassu’s art, design, and teaching practices operate at the intersection of design theory, spatial justice, and contemporary African art. The work meditates on the international constellation of Afrodiasporic spaces. Most recently, he has been analyzing the sociospatial identities of two urban marketplaces: Kariakoo in Dar es Salaam and Merkato in Addis Ababa. Admassu received his master’s of science in advanced architecture design with honors from Columbia University and has previously taught at Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Anita N. Bateman specializes in modern and contemporary African art and the art of the African diaspora with additional expertise in the history of photography, Black Feminism/Womanism, and the role of social media in activism and liberation work. Bateman earned a doctorate in art history and visual culture and a graduate certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University, a master’s in art history from Duke University, and completed her undergraduate degree in art history, graduating cum laude from Williams College. She has held curatorial positions at the RISD Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Bateman is associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.