The term "contemporary African art" has been used by gallery owners, curators and collectors in Europe since the 1960s and '70s. As a term to sum up the artistic output of an entire continent, it’s problematic. Artists don't always want to be defined by their continent of origin (or by the origin of their ancestors). At best it's reductive, at worst it's racist.
I spent time with several artists now based in Paris to find out what the concept means to them.
This piece aired on December 26, 2006, on Radio France International
Producer: Sarah Elzas
Recorded in Lognes and Paris, France.
Photo: Girl #94100, part of Mirrors of Black Paradise by Wilfred Ukpong