Cultural Transfers #5
prêt-à-partager. a transcultural exchange in art, fashion and sports
In 'prêt-à-partager', a joint exhibition, the ifa Galleries Berlin and Stuttgart present the results of numerous workshops and artistic encounters on the African continent. After work at seven different locations in Africa, the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) is now exhibiting the project in Germany, and showing how fashion, dance, sport, globalization, and art all take effect, and how culture is a unifying and also liberating force for innovation.
The 'prêt-à-partager' project was initiated and organized by ifa, and began in November 2008 with an interdisciplinary workshop in Dakar, Senegal. Seventeen artists from Africa and Europe met there to work together in a multimedia and interdisciplinary workshop on fashion, design, photography, and art in public space. To the Senegalese capital they brought with them influences from the metropolises of Berlin, Kinshasa, Dakar, London, Stuttgart, Douala, Hamburg, and Johannesburg.
'prêt-à-partager' has been touring South and West Africa since 2009 – in Dakar, Maputo, Lagos, Kapstadt, Johannesburg, and Accra. Thanks to a large programme of accompanying events, it has sparked off cooperation projects that have enlarged the network and enriched the exhibition.
In January, for example, a workshop took place in Douala (Cameroon); in October the ifa organized an international artistic conference in Johannesburg, looking at aesthetic and economic aspects of 'freedom' in Africa and the African diaspora.
Showing the exhibition in Germany marks the provisional climax of the project – here the results of transnational cooperation that arose from the accompanying events programme will be on show for the first time.
With 'prêt-à-partager', ifa establishes a new form of artistic dialogue. In this kind of artistic cooperation the emphasis is not on art as a service, but on creating a platform for encountering new ideas and visions that come about through shared experience. Ifa seeks out respectful partnerships that provide mutual benefit and inspiration.
The project was supported by Aktion Africa. It is an project by the Department of Foreign Affairs of The Federal Republik of Germany.