P23
Africa's new frontiers: fresh, trending and innovative

Convenors:
Nicolaas Vergunst
Chair:
Nicolaas Vergunst
Location:
B1 1.12
Sessions:
Friday 19 July, 16:00-17:30

Short abstract:

This panel takes its cue from the ancient proverb "there is always something new coming out of Africa". Today 'new' no longer means strange, abnormal or inverted but fresh, trending and innovative. Panelists will discuss local initiatives that transform tradition and modernity into something new.

Long abstract:

"Far too often," says UN Secretary-General António Guterres, "the world views Africa through the prism of problems. When I look to Africa I see a continent of hope, promise and vast potential." African Union summit address, 30 January 2017. The above statement not only sums up a long-held dualism in post-colonial attitudes toward Africa, but also fits the CHAM 2019 conference theme in so far as it recognises the continent's resurgent role on the world stage. Africa's problems are as much a part of our world as its solutions are of benefit to us all. Today Africa provides new ways of seeing, making or doing things in an ever-expanding and interdependent world. What comes out of Africa may be fresh, trending and innovative. This panel focuses on initiatives that currently offer fresh direction, set new trends or yield innovative results in society, culture and art. Panelists will discuss 'new' ideas, models or practices occupying critical spaces or playing leading roles in and beyond Africa. To this end the three papers will examine the transformative use of tradition and modernity in town planning, religious worship and fashion design. In turn, each paper offers something fresh, trending and innovative.