100 contemporary artists from all over the African continent have been invited to participate in the ASAP project. The Artistic Committee chaired by Jean-Philippe Aka and composed of Gaël Faye, Keziah Jones and Melissa Goba met on Wednesday 4 March 2020. Each of the members of the Artistic Committee had taken ownership of the project prior to this day in order to define together precise selection criteria such as the originality of the artistic proposal, its visual impact or the way it looks at the African continent.
The projects’ contemporaneity seemed to be paramount for the members of the Committee. In fact, the artist Gaël Faye announced that he was above all looking for “an original representation of what Africa can offer today“, while Keziah Jones, singer-songwriter, hoped to study artistic proposals that “seeks to the modern”. The artist and curator Mélissa Goba, present in videoconference from South Africa during the Artistic Committee, praised the richness of the artistic dossiers, notably because they allowed “to look at the future of the African continent“.
The history of the African continent in space is not new, the ASAP project is part of a long-term historical dimension, as Keziah Jones pointed out when mentioning the “Zambian space program“. Initiated by Professor Edward Makuka Nkoloso, this program was born in Zambia in 1964. Its ambition was to follow in the footsteps of the United States and Russia in the race to conquer space. The Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) should also be mentioned as it had embarked on a German-Zairian space adventure in 1975. The history of the African continent in space is not new; the artists participating in the ASAP project continue it.
Jean-Philippe AKA, president of the Artistic Committee, concluded the day by underlining the importance of this cultural project for the 54 countries of the continent. In his words, the Committee had just spent a day in the heart of “Africa today and tomorrow“.
Three laureate artists were chosen by the Artistic Committee, they will submit their projects to the ASAP Jury on April 23rd 2020. The names of the artists will soon be revealed…