PANYA ROUTES, independent art spaces in Africa

: Gurney (K.)

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230pp., colour illus, maps, paperback, Berlin, 2022


The book is the result of a four-year research project, Platform/ Plotform, led by Kim Gurney into the working principles of independent art spaces in five cities: Nairobi, Accra, Cairo, Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam. The key spaces that participated in the research were GoDown Arts Centre, ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, Townhouse Gallery, Zoma Museum and Nafasi Art Space.

"In an engaging analysis of five African independent art spaces Kim Gurney convincingly highlights the powerful artistic and political potential of such autonomous art initiatives: to formulate novel propositions that creatively engage with the continent’s varied social realities; to redesign its material realities; to innovate the contents of what constitutes its public spheres; and to generate imaginings of alternative futures that bypass the tired discourses and practices of institutionalized political levels in order to embrace more inclusive and collective modes of living together. Panya Routes is an original, hopeful and timely reflection on the role of public art to rethink urban worlds in Africa and beyond." Filip De Boeck, Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, and co-author of Suturing the City, living together in Congo’s urban worlds

Writer and visual artist Kim Gurney is Research Associate at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town. She is the author of August House is Dead, Long Live August House! The story of a Johannesburg atelier and The Art of Public Space: Curating and re-imagining the ephemeral city.