Public Program:
A Proposition by Gabi Ngcobo: The Panafricannial: Towards a Roaming African Biennial
March 25 2011
Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Each two-day seminar introduces a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are responded to, researched, and discussed to propel them forward in unique ways. This month’s Proposition is by Gabi Ngcobo.

The structure of Propositions is as follows:
Friday, 7:00 PM - Initial proposition and lecture
Saturday, 2:00 PM - Guest speaker responds, followed by discussion with audience

Gabi Ngcobo’s Proposition imagines a pan-African biennial of contemporary art based on two models: Manifesta,the roaming European biennial of contemporary art; and the Africa Cup of Nations, a nomadic biannual soccer tournament. How do we reframe questions around biennials to consider the geographical scope of this continent alongside logistical challenges, linguistic and cultural divides, and uneven economic realities?

On March 26 at 2 p.m. Binyavanga Wainaina, Director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Artists and Writers at Bard College, NY joins Ngcobo to speak about his experiences based on Pilgrimages, a project by the Achebe Center, in which fourteen prominent writers were sent on a guided pilgrimage to thirteen cities in Africa (and Salvador do Bahia, Brazil) during the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.

New Museum curator
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum