– Curated by Oyindamola Faithful & Emmanuel Ndefo – 26 April – 20 June 2024

In Africa, whenever an elder dies, a library burns down. – Amadou Hampâté Bâ

Inspired by the aphorism “In Africa whenever an elder dies, a library burns down”, attributed to West African philosopher Amadou Hampâté Bâ (1901–1991), the group exhibition Embodying the Sacred seeks to examine the different modalities of knowledge conservation, activation and circulation of heritage from the perspective of West African artists and communities through the lens of the archive.

Throughout large parts of their histories, West African societies have produced original forms of mediation between the spirit, the material and the living. Expressions are inherited and transmitted from one generation to another through oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, arts, festive events, knowledge concerning nature and the universe or the skills production of traditional crafts. We refer to this embodied know-how as intangible archives. This thinking led to the choice of exhibition title, taken from the publication Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art.

Read more: https://unitlondon.com/voices/embodying-the-sacred/

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