Thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition
In cooperation with Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy’s Centre for Career Development, Museum of African Art has organised a practice program for final year students of Art History and Ethnology and Anthropology. The students have worked hard for a month on their chosen topics, both through the substantiality of guiding and the interesting ways of presenting. Each student offered different view on the Museum’s permanent exhibit. The students will guide visitors through the permanent exhibit and provide them with the experience of Africa through ten different perspectives!
Program "Practicum" is created and led by MAA curators: Emilia Epštajn, anthropologist and Ivana Vojt, art historian.
No entrance fee for those who come to the guided tour. Welcome!
THE SCHEDULE OF THE THEMATIC GUIDED TOURS THROUGH PERMANENT EXHIBITION:
Sunday, June 9th
“Europe and Africa: Are we really two separate worlds?“
This guiding is a personal interpretation of Museum of African Art’s permanent exhibit wherein different artefacts may invoke the experiences and the knowledge we have about European art, culture, tradition and Christian religion. Where can we recognise the influence of Africa in the European culture and what are all the conceptual, aesthetic and functional similarities between the two continents? In which way the two visually express both oral and written tradition? These are only some of the questions to which we would jointly try to find the answers.
“Art of Dan and Guere People“
Monday, June 10th
“Everyday Household Objects“
Apart from the masks, the figures of the ancestors and other cult objects, the former lives of African peoples could not have been imagined without certain things such as cups, bawls, fibres etc. Now you have an opportunity to discover the everyday life in a traditional community of the Bambara, Dogon, Senufo and Guerre peoples of Africa. Visitors will learn about the ways they made their meals, what their houses looked like, the roles of the women within the community. Visitors will also see variously decorated pots, spoons and tobacco dishes. This time we will present you with a different world of African peoples – a mundane world embalmed with mysticism and magic, as well as ancestral and a world of spiritual power.
Tuesday, June 11th
“Animals and Their Symbolism in African Art“
Get to know African mythology and five primary animals of world’s creation. Discover the symbolism of snakes, turtles, chameleons, crocodiles and birds. Who introduced agriculture to the Bambara? How did the Dogon people cross the river Niger. What did the Senufo hunters try to communicate to the forest spirits? Who is judging the Baule people? Browse through the Museum of African Art's permanent exhibit and find this out and a lot more.
Wednesday, June 12th
“African Mask: Function and Meaning“
Meet the African mask through its meaning and function. Learn about how it was used among the various peoples of West Africa. Discover the meaning of mask in African society, culture, tradition and art and find out what the mask means and represents to the Bambara, Dogon, Senufo, Dan and Guerre peoples
Thursday, June 13th
“Representation of Body in African Art”
Would you like to know what the sculptures in the Museum of African Art’s permanent exhibit say about the communities from which they originate? Did you ever think about a human body as an empty board that the society constructs, builds, sacrifices, adores or, through it, legitimises its order? Did you know about the traditional methods of decorating the body and the ideals of beauty within African communities? If we have tickled your curiosity even a little bit, come to the expertly guided tour where you can find out more.
Friday, June 14th
“Cult of the Ancestor in West Africa:
Meet the traditional African art through one of the oldest religious ideas – the cult of the ancestors. Guided tour follows a story about the intent and the functionality of anthropomorphic figures and objects dedicated to the cult. While walking beside the authentic objects that belong to different ethnic groups of the continent, you will see various stylistic features of the objects as well as differences and similarities in the artistic expression. Learn more about a great significance the representations of this cult have on the connectedness of the human with the spiritual world, about the understanding of the world among the peoples of Africa and about their mythology and beliefs. A traditional belief in the life’s continuity and its permanence has left the significant traces on African art, since a work of art, above all, represents an artistic viewpoint.
Suterday, June 15th
“Rhythm of Africa: On African Musical Instruments”
Music and dancing have an important role in the lives of African people. They are a part of the daily life of the population and have a prominent role in the religious, ritual and ceremonial life. Rhythm is a very strong element of the African music, which has an almost stimulating effect on a human body. Music is a form of communication, through musical instruments, with the ancestors and supernatural beings - via the use of masks. Which instrument will be chosen depends on the type of the mask and the ritual. Launched with internal vibration, the fundamentality of life emerges to the surface and reaches out to the most remote areas of the Universe.
“Influence of African Art to European Modern Art”
Meet the traditional African art through the eyes of European modern and contemporary artists. Learn what was that thing that the fauvists, cubists, expressionists and others recognised in African masks and sculptures; how it inspired them to create the art of their own, thus changing the way the art of the African continent was perceived in Europe.
Sunday, June 16th
“Style and Form of West African Mask”
This guided tour is dedicated to African masks, i.e. mask as a work of art. Beginning with the postulate that the very process of creating the mask (due to its clear cult purpose) is not, in some parts, considered the act of art, we will try to prove otherwise. Stylistic, formal and the differences in meaning among the masks of different peoples of West Africa will be stressed, particularly those of the peoples of Mali and The Ivory Coast. We will discuss who the person who makes a mask is; how that person spiritually prepares for the job and in what kind of environment does this person create. We will try to depict what it is that trails the creation of a mask and to view different contexts of their various purpose and the usage. Thus we will clarify and diversify some of the key differences among the ethnic communities of West Africa.