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Review Noire: Legendary African Culture Magazine (1990-2000)

Simon Njami's Strategy

The "Magiciens de la Terre" exhibition (1989), the first to show works from more than 50 countries, including Africa and Asia, at the Georges Pompidou Centre, was met with continued criticism, and as a counter-movement to this view of Africa, curator Simon Njami launched the Review Noir magazine. Simon Njami, who later curated the exhibition "Africa Remix" (which traveled to 6 countries including Japan from 2004-2006), was a pioneer in publishing a tri-monthly magazine from its inception in 1990 until 2000 that introduced artists (especially in photography) in contemporary African art.

For example, the June-August 1995 issue featured contemporary African art from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, on art, photography, sculpture, music, film, fashion, dance, and literature. It was a strategy to establish the genre as a contemporary African art.

For Mali, each artist's work and interviews are presented

Ghosts Don't Go to Heaven by Jean Loup Pivin

Art: Abdoulaye Konate, Mondibo Franky Diallo, Ismal Diabate, Alpha Yaya Diara, etc.

Music: Kar Kar Boubacar Traore, Habib Konte, Ketetigui/Toumani Diabate

Photos: Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe, Abderramane Sakaly, Alioune Ba

Fashion: Chris Seydou, Soumaila Traore, Awa Cisse, Gogo Semega

Film: Souleymane Cisse

The Burkina Faso section showed the award-winning films of the FESPACO, a film festival, in addition to its fashion, paintings, etc. In 1995, "Guimba" (a comedy about a tyrant) and "Keita! (The heritage of Griot)" won awards. During this festival, films from South Africa and non-French-speaking countries were accepted for the first time. "Nice to meet you, please don't rape me" did not even have French subtitles, and more than half the audience walked out halfway through the film because they did not understand the political nuances of the film. However, as a result of screening a short film that helped the audience understand the situation in South Africa, they were welcomed as part of a community that is reaching for the same goal, transcending the language barrier.

From November 26, 2022 to March 31, 2023, an exhibition of 140 photographs from this magazine representing Africa and its diaspora was held at HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY in Madagascar.


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