الرئيسية » الثقافه » Caravans of Gold Exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum Celebrates Africa’s World-Shaping Stories  
Caravans of Gold Exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum Celebrates Africa’s World-Shaping Stories   

Caravans of Gold Exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum Celebrates Africa’s World-Shaping Stories  

 Henry Kim With this exhibition we’re upending common misperceptions and filling in areas of world history that have been overlooked

  An Afrofuturist art installation, talks from influential scholars, and pan-African music  

Ayman Wasfy 

As African countries gain recognition as 21st-century global leaders, the Aga Khan Museum celebrates the continent’s power in the past, present, and future, through the exhibition of “Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time”, which was opened recently at the museum in Toronto, Canada. The exhibition comes in line with the museum’s mission to connect cultures, and as a fruitful result of the efforts made in partnership with African nations and members of the African diaspora to bring Toronto this groundbreaking exhibition 

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time exhibition includes an Afrofuturist art installation made of Lego; and world-class thought leaders and performers who reveal new dimensions of this vast and complex continent. The exhibition takes you back to medieval times, when western Africa fueled the economies of three continents with culture-changing ideas, much sought-after luxuries, and treasured commodities such as salt, ivory, and gold — a world-shaping story largely left out of our Western history books 

The exhibition curated by Kathleen Bickford Berzock and organized by the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, made Christie’s 2019 list of must-see exhibitions. Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time exhibition features a cutting-edge curatorial approach that sets stunning masterpieces alongside recently unearthed archeological fragments, and includes many loans from the national collections of Mali, Nigeria, and Morocco. This juxtaposition reveals how deeply connected medieval Africa was to a wide swathe of the world, influencing art and culture across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia

“The exhibition raises an important story in world history about Islam in Africa during the medieval era. It highlights the ways in which the shared language of Arabic brought diverse people together, facilitating trade and making western Africa the powerful heart of an interconnected world. It’s a story that’s rarely told, and yet it has shaped the world we know today”, says Henry Kim, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum 

“With this exhibition we’re upending common misperceptions and filling in areas of world history that have been overlooked,” the director of the Aga Khan Museum added. “Our hope is that our programming can contribute to critical conversations in Canada that expand our understanding of the past, helping to bridge cultures today and tomorrow 

The exhibition also highlights the legendary medieval figure, Mansa Musa, 14th-century ruler of the West African empire of Mali — thought to be the one of the wealthiest people of all time. Mansa Musa’s astounding gold riches were famed, with accounts suggesting that the value of gold dropped because of his extravagant spending during his pilgrimage to Mecca 

Speaking to the future, the Museum simultaneously presents Building Black: Civilizations, an Afrofuturist art installation made exclusively of black Lego bricks by contemporary Ghanaian-

Canadian artist, Ekow Nimako. His series of surrealist sculptures, featuring a six-foot wide centerpiece, links medieval Africa’s advanced civilizations with a vision of the continent’s powerful future 

The Museum’s pan-African focus comes to life with our 2019/20 Performing Arts season, Listening to Each Other, which pays tribute to the role of music in connecting communities, preserving culture, and spurring social change. The season launches with Toko Telo, a trio of Madagascar’s biggest stars, exploring new elements of the country’s folk music 

The Museum also presents the Maghreb Project, a cross-cultural band that unites musicians from the Sahara Desert, and the Okavango African Orchestra, who create a new musical language by bringing together musicians from African countries (Burundi, Eritrea, Somalia, Madagascar, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Ghana) that historically have had little interaction

Finally, a vibrant array of educational programming spotlights aspects of the African continent, challenging what we know about the world. We start with a talk from Caravans curator Kathleen Bickford Berzock, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Block Museum of Art, illuminating the partnerships with Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria that made the exhibition possible 

We continue with an exciting range of prominent speakers. The Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Gus Casely-Hayford, discusses the many golden ages of African art, and Victoria and Albert Museum Curator, Mariam Rosser-Owen, gives a talk on the medieval politics of gold and ivory. Other highlights include a multi-week course on the far-reaching impact of African trade before the medieval era, and an artist talk and tour from Ekow Nimako 

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Museum’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage while reflecting, through both its permanent and temporary exhibitions, how cultures connect with one another. Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8-hectare site with Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. The surrounding landscaped park was designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic

 

Comments

comments