The Vitra Design Gallery in Weil am Rhein is hosting an exhibtion on a remarkable and rather unknown period of architectural history, set in the 1960’s post-colonialist Africa. It adresses the relationship between the architectural production of five countries and their individual nation-building processes.
“Architecture of Independence – African Modernism” is part of Vitra Design Museum’s theme on Africa for spring 2015, as it will be followed by an exhibition on contemporary African design later in March. Curated by Manuel Herz, the exhibition will be showing from February 20 to May 31, 2015.
Following the independence of many countries in Central and Sub-Saharan Africa, young nations embraced architecture as one of the principal means by which to express their national identities.
The exhibition showcases buildings in five countries seen through the eyes and lens of renowned architecture photographer Iwan Baan and the exhibition’s curator Manuel Herz. A desire for experimental and futuristic constructions pairs up with these countries’ local take on international modernism, resulting in an incomparable set of over 80 buildings in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia, Ghana and Senegal.
“The often heroic and daring designs of parliament buildings, central banks, stadiums, conference centres, universities and independence memorials mirror the forward-looking spirit that was dominant in these countries at the time. However, this architecture also represents the difficulties, contradictions and dilemmas that the young nations experienced in their independence process, as building designs and architects were often imported from foreign countries, if not from one of the former colonial powers.”
Architecture of Independence
20.02.2015 – 31.05.2015
Vitra Design Museum Gallery
Weil am Rhein