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African Art-ists

June 8th - June 30th, 2018

The African Art-ists project started as a panel discussion in March 2018 by artist-art historians Chelsy Monie and Soukayna that was organized after they noticed a lack of representation in art history courses when it came to the continent of Africa. As art historians, they want to deconstruct the canon to promote the study of the histories of Africa as a non-monolithic culture, and share its contemporary existence. It was an event that promoted contemporary African artists and raised awareness of the need for a platform that gives a voice to artists who are often silenced. For this panel discussion, Chelsy and Soukayna presented their respective art practices, and the ways in which their identity as Africans is translated through their creations. 

The current exhibition presents recent visual and written works by the artists. The African Art-ists project will also include a forthcoming book based on the panel in collaboration with the Ethnocultural Art Histories Research (EAHR) group.

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Soukayna is a Moroccan-Canadian artist, writer, and student in Art History, Film Studies, and French Literature at Concordia University. Her focus on the continent of Africa, specifically on North Africa, is manifested in all of her work, and she hopes that her art prompts multiple conversations on the different identities, cultures, problematics, and histories of her homeland.

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Chelsy Monie is a Communications and Art History student at Concordia University as well as an artist interested in identity and representation. Her work strives to portray ideas of “reality” and “the mundane” as beautiful and unique cultural experiences. She is also the founder of Ubuntu Talks, a platform that promotes positive representations of Black bodies in the media. Through this platform, Chelsy strives to show that Blackness is not a unipolar experience. Instead, it involves multiple layers, all of which are soft, beautiful and magical, but also forgiving, tough and resilient.

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