More Aphrike #4
Exhibition with Xuly Bët (Mali/France)
& Sunny Dolat, The Nest Collective (Kenya)
In the morning at the G20 Hamburg summit the world politicians dispute about the future of Africa – without results. In the evening we talk again about Africa with our guests from Paris and Nairobi – and everybody learns a lot.
For instance how to trigger a conversation about the taboo topic homosexuality in Kenya with the aid of only one camera an a lot of guts. Or how to deal with false expectations towards African designers supposed to create solely stereotypes of what is understood to be African design. Or we learn how damaging the effects of Fast Fashion are for many African countries by both polluting the environment and endangering the existence of local designers and manufactures.
Mali-born Lamine Kouyaté is a legend. In the 90ies he disrupted the Parisian Haute Couture with Funkin-fashion and guerilla-fashion shows. Robert Altman erected him - as one of the first black designers in the scene - a monument with his movie Pret-a-Porter. Seams, which are turned inside out, a jury-rigged look, black models - Kouyatés Label Xuly Bët created a style, combining street wear and high-fashion, which was copied by many others. Since two years Xuly Bët is celebrating his comeback on the runways of New York.
»I remenber my first show, people were really shocked and trying to find out where is Africa in my design.«
Lamine Kouyaté, Xuly Bët
Sunny Dolat is a fashion-stylist and creative director at The Nest - a creative collective out of musicians, (fashion-) designers and moviemakers from Kenia. Founded in 2012, The Nest has already won numerous awards, most of them for their queer-movie »Stories of our Lives«, which was shown in more than 80 countries. Furthermore The Nest established the first fund for creative entrepreneurs in East Africa.
His latest project, a fashion book titled »Not African Enough«, puts together ideas and images from a selection of emerging Kenyan designers who are contributing to the shifting aesthetic of the east african counrty. In this interrogation of what exactly qualifies as 'authentically African', he challenges narrow definitions of African design and showcase original, unencumbered thinking and practice in this challenging sphere. »Not African Enough« is a voyage into Kenyan contemporary fashion as an exploration of wider issues regarding Africa's place in global cultural debates and dialogues.
»As an African designer you are limited to be inspired by your own culture. The minute you dare to move away from that then your work isn´t African enough and you are not African enough.«
Opening Exhibition & Talk 8.7.2017, 20.00
Workshop with Xuly Bët und Sunny Dolat 10.7.2017, 10.00- 19.00 (fully booked)
Exhibition, 12.7 - 21 .7.2017