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exhibition Blueprints of Paradise in the Afrika Museum - opening programme with:

Debate on 8 April at the NAi in Rotterdam with N’Goné Fall, Joe Osae – Addo, Kunle Adeyemi, Jan Konings and the prize winners

Debate on 10 April in LUX in Nijmegen with Joe Osae – Addo and the prize winners

The African continent is developing rapidly. Over half of the 1 billion Africans will be living in a city or its suburbs by 2025. Just like in the other cities of the world, African cities are struggling with issues such as waste disposal, housing shortages and spatial planning. How could Africa deal with these problems? A number of ideas are presented in the ‘Blueprints of Paradise’ exhibition, which can be seen from 1 April 2011 at the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal.

Together with African Architecture Matters, the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal organised a competition to let Africans present their visions on the layout and construction of their cities. African architects and designers were asked to produce a blueprint for the Africa of the future. The international jury selected 12 entries to feature in the exhibition. Two of the designs will be on display in a life-sized format, whilst the others will consist of scale drawings, photographs and film.

It was striking that most entrants developed solutions for the public space instead of for buildings. The entries recognised the importance of the multi-layered use of public space in Africa as an important driver for future Africa.

The three winning designs, including a proposal for an urban park in Kumasi (Ghana), were produced by architects from South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria. They will receive their prizes of € 7,500, € 5,000 and € 2,500 during the exhibition’s official opening ceremony on Saturday 9 April 2011 at 3pm (entry on invitation only).

Jury members were: Lesley Lokko (architect, editor, author of the jury report, Johannesburg, South Africa) Femke van Zeijl (journalist and author of books such as Gin-tonic & Cholera, Utrecht, Netherlands), Joe Osae-Addo (architect, Accra, Ghana), Manthia Diawara (writer, film-maker, lecturer at New York University, New York, USA)

The exhibition is curated by Berend van der Lans (AAmatters) and Siebe Rossel (Afrika Museum). Exhibition development and design was in the hands of Berend van der Lans in collaboration with the Afrika Museum and Infofilm.

‘Blueprints of Paradise’ can be visited in the Afrika Museum from 1 April to 30 October 2011. See the Afrika Museum website for more details.

Debate 8 April 20:00hrs - Rotterdam



with N’Goné Fall, Jeo Osae-Addo, Kunle Adeyemi, the prize winners of the competition and moderator Tom Avermaete

In the ‘Blueprints of Paradise’ competition, African designers were asked for their visions for the built Africa of the future. The Senegalese architect and art curator N’Goné Fall reflects on their approaches. What potentials do existing economic, cultural and social structures offer for rapidly growing African cities? How can the ‘informal’ African city be integrated into planning strategies? What can such strategies teach us for urban challenges in the Netherlands? During the days prior to the debate, the participants will visit the city of Rotterdam with a specific focus on the last question. Fall’s lecture is followed by a discussion between her and the architects Joe Osae-Addo, Kunle Adeyemi and Jan Konings about what we can learn from this African strategies for urban challenges in the Netherlands. The evening is moderated by Tom Avermaete. N’Goné Fall graduated from the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. She is an independent curator, an art critic and a consultant in cultural engineering. She has been the editorial director of the Paris-based contemporary African art magazine Revue Noire from 1994 to 2001. She edited books on contemporary visual arts and photography in Africa including An Anthology of African Art: The Twentieth Century, Photographers from Kinshasa and Anthology of African and Indian Ocean Photography: a century of African photographers. Fall curated exhibitions in Africa, Europe and USA. She was one of the curators of the African photography biennale in Bamako, Mali, in 2001 and a guest curator at the 2002 Dakar biennale in Senegal. Fall teaches curatorial process, communication strategies and methodology in the master department of cultural industries at the Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt. She is also a founding member of the Dakar-based collective Gaw-Lab, a platform for research and production in the field of new media and visual arts. She is also Awards Committee member of the Prince Claus Fund. When & Where

Friday April 8, 2011 Start: 8.00 pm. Doors open: 7.30 pm Language: English Location: De Dépendance, Schiekade 189 Rotterdam Entrance Fee: €5. Students and Friends of the NAI: €3. Please keep in mind: tickets can only be payed in cash

For more info and registration click here

Debate 10 April 15:00hrs. - Nijmegen


With Joe Osae - Addo, the prize winners and moderator Farid Tabarki

Africa is often associated with poverty, misfortune and problems in the West. The western audience is less known with contemporary and urban Africa. A large part of the African population lives in cities, just like anywhere else in the world. These cities look different than ours, but they are modern and well fit to the living cultures of the inhabitants.

Via the competition ‘Blueprints of Paradise’ the Afrika Museum and African Architecture Matters challenged African architects, artists and visionaries to design the future of built Africa. Many of the entries addressed the public space and its multiple use.

The debate will explore the possibilities to use African architecture and its solutions as an inspiration source for design of Dutch public space.

What are the differences between African and Dutch planning of public space? What can we learn from each other? But foremost: what is the importance of well developed public space?

When & Where

Sunday April 10, 2011 Start: 15.00 pm.

Language: English Location: Villa LUX, Oranjesingel 42, Nijmegen

Entrance Fee: €7,50

For more information click here

competition entry by Oladayo Oladunjoye, one of the prize winners

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