“In 2010, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos started Àsìkò, an innovative programme designed to redress the frequently outdated or non-existent artistic and curatorial curricula at tertiary institutions across Africa. Each year a cohort of approximately 12-15 emerging African artists and curators join an international faculty of practicing artists, art historians, curators and writers, for an intensive thirty-five-day course of study in art and curatorial history, methodologies, and professional development. Moving between models of laboratory, residency, and academy, Àsìkò privileges experimentation over conventional approaches to art making and curatorial inquiry, encouraging participants to workshop ideas, proposals and projects for long-term development and implementation.
Àsìkò: On the Future of Artistic and Curatorial Pedagogies in Africa chronicles six editions of the programme: the first two editions having taken place in Lagos, Nigeria and the subsequent four editions in Accra, Dakar, Maputo, and Addis Ababa, the capitals of Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique and Ethiopia, respectively. The publication documents each unique but related iteration of the programme, and indexes the work and reflections of the more than 70 cultural producers (from 15 African countries) who have participated in Àsìkò from 2010-2016. The book embodies the multifaceted structure of Àsìkò by interweaving documents specific to each edition with a range of material including commissioned essays on alternative strategies of artistic and curatorial practice; interviews, artworks and reflections by participants and faculty. Àsìkò: On The Future of Artistic and Curatorial Pedagogies in Africa explores many of the themes and issues that have concerned African artists over the last several decades, and offers a foundation for new debates on visual culture in Africa, and methods for articulating, presenting, documenting, and historicizing cultural practices in the future. The publication offers bold reflection on the interdisciplinary ethos at the heart of Àsìkò, and considers how diverse formats including film, literature, theatre, dance and visual art can be more effectively used in moving forward an appreciation of contemporary art, art history, and visual culture across the continent.” - Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos