Issuu on Google+

WHAT

AFRICA

CAN DO

FOR

EUROPE 31 Brilliant Ideas to Inspire the World


NEW IDEAS FOR A BETTER WORLD


MOROCCO EGYPT

SENEGAL

MALI

NIGER UGANDA

BURKINA FASO

NIGERIA

GHANA

RWANDA

CAMEROON

KENYA

MOZAMBIQUE

ZIMBABWE

SOUTH AFRICA

6–7

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


Introduction

AFRICA’S WAY WITH THE WDCD ATTITUDE When we first decided to focus our live event in Amsterdam on Africa, the choice was prompted by selfinterest. We figured that Africa could provide a mirror for us to view the identity issues facing Europe in new ways. Like Europe, the ‘forgotten continent’ of Africa is usually seen as one entity, with one identity. However, on this continent, three times the size of Europe, the differences between Moroccans and Zimbabweans, or between Ethiopians and Ghanaians, are probably even bigger than those between Germans and the Portuguese. At the same time, many African countries are experiencing an economic upturn, which is also triggering a cultural upswing. Both within Africa and beyond, artists, designers, architects and musicians of African origin are emerging, contributing to what the South African singer Yannick Ilunga (25) alias Petite Noir has called ‘the Noir Wave’. With their views on and answers to various social issues facing their societies, they are consciously and unconsciously shaping the evolving identity of their continent. Although we do not suggest that this book offers blueprint solutions to the problems of identity facing Europe, we are convinced that the projects presented here demonstrate the influence of the creative species on the way a continent is presented and perceived. These 31 projects of varying size and gravity, from 15 different countries and across the entire design spectrum, have been selected to offer fresh perspectives on discussions. This selection is by no means comprehensive. But all the stories on these pages demonstrate that the What Design Can Do mentality is alive throughout the African continent. And that is hugely inspirational.


01 BLACK LESBIANS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

09 DISUSED OIL BARRELS HAMMERED INTO ART

02 XHOSA CULTURE IN YOUR CLOSET

10 BUILDING THE FUTURE CITIES OF AFRICA

03 ORCHESTRATING LIFE ON THE WATERFRONT

11 A REVOLUTION TOLD IN SPRAY PAINT

04 OLD PLASTICS, NEW AESTHETICS

12 MAKE CHAIRS, NOT WAR

05 ECO-FUEL BRINGS GIRLS TO SCHOOL

13 HOW TO OUTSELL BARBIE IN NIGERIA

06 MY HOME IS MY PLAYGROUND

14 REBRANDING SENEGAL AND THE CONTINENT

12 – 15

16 – 17

36 – 37

38 – 39

40 – 43

18 – 21

22 – 23

24 – 25

26 – 29

44– 45

48 – 49

50 – 53

07 SERVING THE STREET VENDOR 32 – 33

15 BRCK KEEPS AFRICA CONNECTED 54– 55

08 FOUR MILES FOR 16 CIVIC ARCHITECTURE FLÂNERIES FÉMININES IN THE SUB-SAHARA 34 – 35

8–9

56 – 59


17 AN AFRICAN VOICE IN FASHION

25 DESIGN THROUGH THE BACK DOOR

18 TO PREVENT FIRES, WARN NEIGHBOURS

26 FASHION SERVED WITH A SMILE

19 SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST WANTED CARTOONIST

27 THE COMIC AS A MOUTHPIECE

20 AN ADDRESS FOR THE ADDRESS-LESS

28 CULTURAL ROOTS REMIXED

21 THROUGH THE EYES OF A SMUGGLER

28 EYE ON AN ILLNESS MISUNDERSTOOD

22 BAMBOO AND CLAY OUTDO METAL

30 BAMBOO BIKES TO SOLVE FOUR PROBLEMS

60 – 61

62 – 63

80 – 83

84– 85

86 – 87

64 – 67

68 – 69

70 – 71

72 – 73

88– 89

90 – 91

92 – 93

74 – 77

24 SHAPING THE CITY WITH ITS CITIZENS 78 – 79

31 NESTING IN NUMBERS 94 – 95

EXTRA

23 MEET THE AFFOGBOLOS

MORE GREAT PROJECTS 96 – 101


PIERRE-CHRISTOPHE GAM CAMEROON / PHOTOGRAPHY


TODAY, AFRICANS TELL THEIR OWN STORY


BLACK LESBIANS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

AYANDA MQAKAYI, CAPE TOWN 2011 ZANELE MUHOLI FACES & PHASES SERIES

01 Project: Faces and Phases By: Zanele Muholi Country: South Africa Discipline: Photography URL: inkanyiso.org

‘Here in South Africa you have judges sending women to jail for stealing a loaf of bread to feed her baby, but men who gang rape women, who murder lesbians, who beat their wives, they walk the street as free men.’ This is a handwritten testimonial from one of the sitters whose portrait features in ‘Faces and Phases’, an exhibition continually updated with new works by photographer Zanele Muholi. Johannesburg-based Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is ‘to rewrite a black, queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond’. To achieve that mission, she co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW), and Inkanyiso (www.inkanyiso.org), a forum for queer and visual activist media. She is also active is providing photography workshops for young women in townships. For Muholi, photography is the tool for her activism. It enables her to raise gay visibility as an integral part of her homeland’s history and culture. As she continues to capture this evolving and dynamic community, her exhibitions invite us to consider questions that concern not only her native South Africa, but also LGBTI issues in general. Zanele Muholi Born in Durban in 1972, Zanele Muholi is a photographer and visual activist. She is known for her portrayal of the LGBTI community, especially black lesbian women, in South Africa. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Montreal, Liverpool, Vienna, Lagos, Berlin, Amsterdam, Cape Town and Johannesburg. A recipient of the Prince Claus Award, Muholi is also Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany.

12 – 13

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


14 – 15

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


LITER II, 2012. ZANELE MUHOLI BEING SERIES


XHOSA CULTURE IN YOUR CLOSET

MTANOM’GQUBA S/S 2016 COLLECTION

02

Project: The Mtanom’gquba collection By: Laduma Ngxkolo Country: South Africa Discipline: Fashion design URL: maxhosa.co.za The knitwear brand founded by South African designer Laduma Ngxokolo in 2010 under the name MaXhosa by Laduma has impacted positively both inside and outside South Africa in many ways. ‘I’ve created a lot of awareness about the Xhosa culture,’ Ngxokolo says. ‘A lot of people abroad didn’t even know that we have cold winters in South Africa.’ Ngxokolo entered the fashion world with his modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection for ‘amakrwala’, Xhosa boys who have just been initiated into manhood. It was instantly recognized internationally and showered with praise and awards. The spring/summer 2016 collection by Ngxokolo is called Mtanom’gquba – a Xhosa term for native Africans. With new colours and adaptations of traditional Xhosa beadwork patterns, and extended with trousers, shorts, shoes and shawls, it takes Xhosa culture definitely into the realm of global fashion. In Ngxokolo’s own words, the collection ‘celebrates dark skin tones in contrast with bright hues to elevate the appreciation of colour diversity’. The 2016 collection differs from previous ones in its use of pastel colours, black & white and dark contrast schemes. All with the objective of capturing ‘the beauty of being truly African and proud in a modern context that seeks an eternal way of communicating culture through fashion’. Laduma Ngxokolo Laduma Ngxokolo’s passion for knitwear is rooted in his experience gained while assisting his mother machine-knit garments and accessories. He graduated with distinction in Textile Design and Technology from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. His talent has been recognized by international publications, design platforms (including WDCD) and industry experts. Ngxokolo was awarded the 2014 WeTransfer Scholarship to study masters in Material Futures at the Central St. Martins in London until 2016.

16 – 17

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


PLANS FOR CHICOCO RADIO COURTESY OF NLÉ

03

ORCHESTRATING LIFE ON THE WATERFRONT

Project: Chicoco Radio By: Kunlé Adeyemi Country: Nigeria Discipline: Architecture URL: nleworks.com Nearly half a million people live in waterfront settlements around the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. The government plans to demolish these settlements. In response, Kunlé Adeyemi worked with the Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (C-MAP) on Chicoco Radio. Devised as the community’s voice and platform, Chicoco Radio is a floating media platform being built with and for the residents of Port Harcourt’s waterfront community. The structure is a linear composition of public spaces from land to water: a community radio station, recording studios, computer centre, meeting rooms, amphitheatre and cinema. The radio mast raises the structure like a bridge: launching one end of the building into the water, suspending the other in the air. Built of local materials, the structure incorporates renewable energy systems. The design involved hundreds of residents in design workshops, focus groups and discussions over many years. Chicoco Radio will be built, owned, operated and maintained by the waterfront communities. Adeyemi wants to investigate the challenges and opportunities brought by rapid urbanization and climate change in African coastal cities and waterfront communities. ‘I feel a lot of social responsibility as an architect,’ he recently told CNN, ‘because architecture is primarily for people. We orchestrate their lives within space.’ Kunlé Adeyemi Born and raised in Nigeria, Kunlé Adeyemi studied architecture at the University of Lagos. In 2002 he joined the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. He founded his own practice NLÉ in 2010, with offices in Lagos and Amsterdam, where he is currently developing several projects in Africa. In 2016 Adeyemi was awarded a Silver Lion from the Venice Biennale for his Makoko Floating School.

18 – 19

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


20 – 21

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


THE MAKOKO FLOATING SCHOOL. COURTESY NLÉ


OLD PLASTICS, NEW AESTHETICS

WOVEN CHAIRS BY CHEICK DIALLO PHOTO: ADRIAAN LOUW

04

Project: Furniture collection By: Cheick Diallo Country: Mali Discipline: Interior design URL: facebook.com/cheick.diallo.148 Reconciling consumers with objects produced in Africa is Cheick Diallo’s principal objective, which goes specifically for African consumers too. That is why the designer, who was trained in France, took the production of his designs to his native town Bamako in Mali. With the help of local craftsmen, he produces highly appealing, sensitive furniture and other objects made of salvaged materials: old tyres, bottle tops, discarded drinking cans and used plastic. ‘Design needed to be democratized among African users,’ Diallo said in a recent interview. ‘That’s the battle I’ve been trying to conduct by using locally found, accessible materials while proposing new aesthetic ways.’ This way, Diallo is pushing the boundaries of design, using the materials and expertise at hand in Mali. If Mali doesn’t produce metal, recycled reinforcing steel will do. Or take twining or plaiting, a widespread tradition locally. Diallo: ‘Every family possesses a basic plaited chair, which usually comes from China or Dubai. I’ve recreated these chairs with twiners from Bamako.’ Helping local artisans to express themselves with the help of the designer’s expertise is another objective Diallo is pursuing, converging with his effort to educate youths by organizing design workshops and trying to set up a design study programme in Mali. Cheick Diallo Cheick Diallo studied architecture in Rouen, France, and interior design at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI) in Paris. For many years he worked in both Rouen and his native town of Bamako, until he recently settled in Mali. Diallo co-founded the Association of African Designers (ADA), which he has presided since 2004. He has exhibited his furniture designs and objects, across Europe, Africa and the USA.

22 – 23

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


ECO-FUEL BRINGS GIRLS TO SCHOOL

Project: Eco-Fuel By: Sanga Moses Country: Uganda Discipline: Product / service design URL: facebook.com/ecofuelafrica1

Sanga Moses Being a smart village boy, Sanga Moses was able to go to school on a government grant and became the first of his clan to graduate from college. He found a job with a micro finance company, but in 2011 decided to quit after seeing his young sister carrying a heavy load of wood fuel instead of going to school. This was Moses’s call to action.

24 – 25

PREPARING THE AGRICULTURAL WASTE FOR COMPRESSION PHOTO: ECO-FUEL

‘For some reason this world gives you opportunities. It was a miracle,’ says Sanga Moses, a young entrepreneur from Uganda. After realizing that many young girls in Uganda were missing school because they had to gather wood fuel, he decided he wanted to change the practice of wood and charcoal use in his country. This traditional charcoal consumption had already destroyed two-thirds of Uganda’s forests, while the hazardous fumes cost 20,000 lives a year. With the help of a university professor, Moses developed an alternative, in which agricultural waste is compressed into biochar briquettes that are distributed among the villages of Uganda. To scale the project, Moses needed help, which he found by coincidence at the Unreasonable Institute, an American NGO that supports social entrepreneurs with advice from top business leaders and investments. Eco-Fuel Africa now has 36 full-time employees and provides over 100,000 households a day with renewable and less harmful energy. The company is profitable, earning 1.2 million dollars in turnover. It offers re-sellers an income, and most importantly saves the environment and the lives of many. Moreover, it allows many young girls to attend school instead of searching for wood.

THE PRESS MACHINE FORMS BRIQUETTES OF BIOCHAR FUEL PHOTO: ECO-FUEL AFRICA

05

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


MY HOME IS MY PLAYGROUND

Project: New Jerusalem Children’s Home By: 4D and A Architects Country: South Africa Discipline: Architecture URL: 4da.co.za Put orphaned and abused children into containers? That might not seem like a great solution to an orphanage’s accommodation problem, but 4D and A Architects did just that at the New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Johannesburg. Founded in 2000, the home aims ‘to become one of the best children’s homes in Africa in the provision of holistic and integrated quality care to orphaned, abandoned, abused, traumatized, vulnerable and HIV positive children’. The idea of taking shipping containers came from the fact that two were already used as storage units on the grounds. The standard sizes, 20-foot and 40-foot, allowed the architects to do most of the work off site and then place the containers into position by crane. The result is an eco-friendly structure and playful environment that rapidly became home to its occupants: 12 boys on the ground floor and 12 girls upstairs. Rooms vary in size from two-sleepers to four-sleepers. Interiors are painted a calm cream, which is enlivened by colourful furniture and bedding. Many of the materials and furnishings, even a chandelier, were donated. Throughout, the architects stuck to a mantra of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. ‘It was a very fulfilling project to work on,’ says architect Mia Anfeld. ‘The kids even made a mosaic of our names on the steps, a very touching gesture.’

AN ECO-FRIENDLY AND PLAYFUL HOME MADE FROM SHIPPING CONTAINERS PHOTO: DENNIS GUICHARD

06

4D and A Architects Founded thirteen years ago, Johannesburg-based 4D and A Architects is involved in residential, educational, commercial and industrial design. Led by husband-and-wife duo Sean Wall and Mia Anfeld, the firm provides architecture that defines and encloses space and is both functional and aesthetic. Three houses are currently on site, with a reception building for a children’s village and a bridge on the drawing board. Their orphanage was a runner-up in the 2013 ETA Awards. 26 – 27

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


28 – 29

What Africa Can Do FOR EUROPE


THE NEW JERUSALEM CHILDREN’S HOME. PHOTO: DENNIS GUICHARD


What Africa Can Do for Europe - 31 Brilliant Ideas to Inspire the World