“The problem is, what are Africans doing?

Why do wealthy Africans pay little attention to supporting art and cultural institutions within their individual countries?

It’s not too late for them to start establishing collections that hopefully will transform into future public or private museums inside Africa.”

MEDITATION TREE; by the Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi from 2018. From the NYT.


“We’ve seen some of this start to happen, in Egypt, South Africa, and increasingly even in places like Nigeria, where individuals are building their own private museums and collections.

I’m interested in the possibility of Africans themselves putting their minds and eyes to establish small and medium scale institutions to begin to conserve important work of their artists.”

OTHMAN LAZRAQ; Founder, Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakech, Morocco.


“When you travel across the continent, you see at least two or three generations of artists who have vast amounts of their own work yet don’t know what to do with it because they don’t have the resources to establish spaces to conserve them.

And there are virtually no public institutions in their own countries that they can trust withtheir work. So they are sitting on important art and personal archives that they don’t know what to do with.

That is one of the many tragedies of contemporary Africa.”


Professor of African and African Diaspora art at Princeton University.

3 thoughts on “QUOTATION # 43.”

  1. Most Africans can not do anything about this.Those who can are not interested. There needs to be a whole paradigm shift. So sad especially since CAA is such a treasure trove. Most of us are part of the problem.

  2. The challenge is most of us don’t know what to do with it. I have an eye for it. But collecting, iam planning to learn it from this blog.

  3. A sad story indeed.
    The same problem of appreciating works of our own people, documenting & preserving them for posterity.

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