Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.
Based in Nigeria
Active between 1978 and 1979
Only eleven issues of New Culture: A Review of Contemporary African Arts were published between November 1978 and October 1979. The review strongly emphasized the visual arts and focused on identity, colonialism, post colonialism, history, and tradition as they pertained to the African reality at this time, and the way artists were engaging these themes in their work.
A key element of the review was its focus on the aesthetics of African art and culture, and it propounded a return to the study of traditional art. New Culture’s founder—the artist, architecture, poet, and writer Demas Nwoko (b.1935)—considered traditional art to be the “only art stylistic idiom…valid to the African and the Blacks of African descent the world over, its origin being the too well-known form of traditional African arts, a form that was created and nurtured to maturity by African people themselves, with a history that dates beyond 2000 years.” Pursuing Nwoko’s objectives, the writers covered the arts across the continent and the African diaspora, and the published editions are filled with reviews and essays. They also contain a vibrant children’s section that makes palpable the dynamism of the period’s cultural and creative sector. The eleven editions constitute an indispensable archive of Nigerian cultural life from a time and context in which such information remains difficult to find.
¬– Iheanyi Onwuegbucha, Associate Curator, CCA Lagos