Event: Following The Flow Of Indigo In Africa

Event date: Saturday, November 10, 2018, 10am

For those who crave indigo, a journey to Africa is recommended. This virtual tour, presented by Pamela McClusky, shows how indigo has been adapted to multiple uses across many countries, revealing where this dye has had a pronounced impact.

The journey starts in ancient Egypt, to see a kerchief used by King Tutankhamun that retains the deep hue of a majestic aesthetic. Moving southwest, it follows the path of camels to the Tuareg, or the Blue People, as their clothes and skin are saturated with indigo. From there, a caravan leads to Kano, Nigeria which is renowned for its distinctive dedication to dye pits that are hundreds of years old and still in active use today. Moving south to Abeokuta the unique transformation of white cloth shipped to Nigeria by British colonists is investigated. How the women of this city invented a flourishing vocabulary of designs filled with proverbs, symbols and meanings is an epic chapter of textile history in the 20th century.

For more information visit the website of the Textile Arts Council

Event location: Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA 94118

 

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Event: Creating African Fashion Histories – A One-Day Conference

Event date: Wednesday 2 November 2016

A one-day conference hosted by Royal Pavilion & Museums with the Sussex Africa Centre / University of Sussex and the University of Brighton.

Coinciding with the first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion, Fashion Cities Africa, this conference will explore the possibilities and limitations of dress and fashion history to discuss current and past narratives in African fashion.

Panels will focus on the construction of African fashion histories, the role of African diasporas in the translation of African fashions, new directions in collecting and curating African fashion, and the evolution of new platforms for the dissemination of African fashion. Speakers include Hannah Pool (author, Fashion Cities Africa, curator of Africa Utopia), Helen Jennings (author, New African Fashion), Carol Tulloch (author, The Birth of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora), Erica de Greef, Heather Akou (author, The Politics of Dress in Somali Culture) and Victoria Rovine (author, African Fashion, Global Style).

Conference fee: £50 full price, £35 concessions. This fee includes tea and coffee and, following the conference, an evening reception with the opportunity to view the exhibition Fashion Cities Africa. Lunch is not included.

Venue: Old Courthouse Lecture Theatre, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Booking: You can book a place at the conference through the online ticket system or by returning a downloadable form.

For more information, visit the Brighton Museums website.

Exhibition: Asafo Flags from Ghana

Mingei International Museum - Asafo Flags from Ghana

Exhibition dates: 6 February – 10 July 2016

This exhibition features thirty-six flags from the West African country of Ghana. A recent donation to Mingei International Museum (USA), these colourful flags dating to the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries feature graphic folk imagery and appliquéd designs on solid cotton grounds. They were commissioned by military organisations known as Asafo, or ‘companies’, whose primary role was to exert power, exercise political influence and maintain codes of conduct within Fante communities. Smaller towns had at least one company, and larger towns up to fourteen. Verbal proverbs are given imaginative visual form on the flags, in which messages and customs are remembered and oral traditions are preserved.

Asafo flags are displayed at funerals, annual festivals and other ceremonial occasions, where they adorn central shrines and are paraded and waved through villages and towns. Intense rivalry among companies once led to violent confrontations, but today this is channeled into peaceful competitions. Colonial influence can be noted in these flags, derived in part from the display of European flags in the region; indeed, the British Union Jack appears on flags created before Ghana gained its independence in 1957.

For more information, visit the website of the Mingei International Museum, San Diego, California, USA.