Africa Rising: Deco Nouveau Afrique

TitleAfrica Rising: Deco Nouveau Afrique
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Peppas, M., and S. Ebrahim
Affiliation (1st Author)Durban University of Technology (DUT), South Africa
Section or WGVisual Culture Working Group
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeVISW4a
Slot Code (Keyword)VISW4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
RoomHelix - The Gallery
Session TitleVisual Art and Visual Culture
Submission ID5753
Abstract

The DNA concept ‘Deco Nouveau Afrique’ gives cadence to revived energies in artistic frontiers. Originated in the City of Durban, the human ‘heart in art’ aims to heighten consciousness around wind, wave and sun technologies incorporated into techno-arts. The term DNA, coined by founder of Green Heart City Dr Mikhail Peppas, celebrates an innovative genre bursting out of Africa. In previous centuries Africa has been the Dark Continent that has had to rely on handouts from continents regarded as more advanced. The scenario is now shifting into a time and space where Africa is pivoting from being a begging bowl (receiver) to serving as a breadbasket (provider) for the world. The primary area of gifting is the emergence of a new platform (DNA) that blends art, industry and telecommunications and stirs the elements together in a fresh calabash of the human spirit. Deco Nouveau extends this reinvigoration into cooperation and cohesion amongst the arts, ecology and humanity with impetus arising from the groundswell of the Art Deco Movement of the 1920s. Art Deco sought to create relationships between art, decoration and industrial design. Part of the Art Deco Movement was dependent on elements from Africa such as abstractness, masks, African figures, and circles and triangles. Art Deco spiralled out of Africa into the Paris Exhibition showcase of 1925, and it is now time for Durban – as a top ranking art deco city in the world – to reignite this eclectic energy in techno-arts. DNA combines African Indigenous Knowledge Systems with cultural and artistic activity to offer the world another direction in human achievement. Africa is emerging as a space that will nourish the imagination of the world by surfing the new wave of techno-arts. Ancient meets hi-tech, with green-consciousness at the forefront of architecture, furniture, clothing, craft and music design. The world is shifting to new platforms which will require a blending of capitalism and Ubuntu. Alongside competition and coercion is a drift towards incorporating greater cooperation and cohesion. The earth has a rapidly expanding population that requires a new multi-faceted paradigm. There must be a defence in support of mass individualism through rallying the sectors/forces of Deco Nouveau. Central to DNA is the invigorating of dreams, shapes, and spaces, and for the heart to be seen and heard in shape and performance. Africa is taking its place in the world and is seen as a pivotal player, serving the world with a fresh integrity green with possibility. *Ubuntu is a Nguni word which has no direct translation into English, but is used to describe a particular African worldview in which people can find fulfilment through interacting with other people. Thus it represents a spirit of kinship across both race and creed which united mankind to a common purpose. (http://africanhistory.about.com/od/glossaryu/g/Ubuntu.htm) *Mass individualism refers to a current trend where companies are offering consumers options for customising their mass-produced purchases in an attempt to help consumers feel that they are being served as individuals. (http://greenjeansbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2005/12/consumer-culture-mass-pro...)

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