The Scramble for Africa refers to the occupation, division and colonization of African territory by European powers during the late 1800s.
The commonly accepted starting point for the Scramble for Africa was the Berlin Conference in 1884. This conference sought to regulate the colonisation of the continent.
As Kalashnikovv Gallery, a young and independent contemporary art gallery expanding into Berlin, we are reminded of the parallel between the previous colonisation of Africa and the subsequent neo-colonial activity on the continent. As global superpowers like China and USA take a heightened interest in African politics, art and consumerism; both from a military stance as well as economic, we are confronted by the reality that Africa’s natural resources are still under threat.
In conjunction to traditional resources such as minerals, gas and man power there is another resource that is currently becoming a sought after commodity: African Art and Culture. Although less threatening and far less harmful, the proposition that interest in Africa’s present day culture is intrinsically adept to its turbulent past creates an intriguing narrative.
In our opening group exhibition, we aim to let African Artists use their practice to elaborate on these topics and potential issues. Touching on themes from new imperialism and neo-colonialism through to more basic descriptions of day-to-day realities.
Using mediums such as painting, photograph, sculpture and print making, we offer our audience an opportunity to reflect on the past and contemplate the future of creative practice in Africa. Whether it be gold lust, political subterfuge, cultural appropriation or just a renowned interest in art originating from the birthplace of mankind; The new Scramble for Africa has begun.