Arts,Cities and Countries,History of Africa

DAPPER MUSEUM / MUSEE DAPPER

15 Dec , 2015  

 

Set up in Amsterdam, in 1983, at the instigation of its current President, Michel Leveau, the Olfert Dapper Foundation takes its name from a xviith-century Dutch humanist who, despite never leaving his native country, wrote an encyclopedic description of Africa, first published in 1668.

 

The purpose of this private non-profit organization is to raise the profile of sub-Saharan Africa’s artistic heritage and contribute to its conservation, by staging exhibitions and awarding research bursaries.

 

Director Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau was on the Musée du quai Branly steering committee from 1999 to the end of 2004 and is a member of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery (CPME), set up on January 5th 2004.

 

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History of Africa

MEHMED THE CONQUEROR

5 Dec , 2015  

 

He was born in Edirne, the then capital city of the Ottoman Empire state. His father was sultan Murad II (1404-51). At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople, bringing an end to the medieval Byzantine Empire. He also claimed the title of Caesar of Rome in addition to his other titles, Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, after the conquest of Constantinople. Mehmed II’s reign is also well-known for the religious tolerance with which he treated his subjects, especially among the conquered Christians, which was very unusual for Europe in the middle ages.

 

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Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,History of Africa

WATCH OUT! ARABIC DECORATION IS A EUROPEAN REALITY

3 Sep , 2015  

The exotic dramatic quality of Arabic decoration is extraordinary. A means of escape from the industrialised western decoration so overly confused as to what it aims to aspire to in terms of luxury and the limitation of its resources to serialised, repetitive and angular constructions offering furnishings with laboratory materials resulting in simply pale imitations of the past.

 

Nature, colour, constructive sets, exquisite materials,  engaging ambiences, etc. all of these attract us the decoration projected through magazines as samples of a new luxury concept.

 

However, is Arabic decoration truly Arabic? Contemporary Arabic culture does not offer, except on rare occasions, any of these aesthetic principles. Even its aspiration is to foolishly mock western standards adding a further over-top-touch, ostentatiousness and bad taste.

 

In truth that sample of an aesthetic universe based on traditional Arabic culture has been recreated by western foreigners (refined and well-to-do foreign with new horizons free from the inherent atavisms of the west).

 

Even the recovery of traditional trade, handicrafts and pieces form part of this trend. There is still room for many unanswered questions on philosophical, political, anthropological and religious grounds, although there is plenty of time for them to be asked. The idea has been thrust forward; Arabic decoration is in fact European decoration.

 

It is worthwhile underlining that this is no way conditions the enjoyment and delight we take from a truly fascinating decorative model that is destined to make us reconsider interior design in the west.

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,History of Africa

ISLAMIC MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA

23 Apr , 2015  

Is a cultural and arts centre that challenges stereotypical views about islamic art, history, culture and beliefs. Also supportered by Republic of Turkey the museum catches the eye with its modern architecture.

 

Thanks to the app developed for the Islamic Museum of Australia, you can access comprehensive and up-to-date information about the galleries and exhibition in the museum.

 

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Arts,Decor and Architecture,Fashion and Lifestyle,History of Africa

CARPETS IN ANCIENT TIMES

16 Apr , 2015  

From the Neolithic people used to weave carpets (period in which the tissue was associated to the creation of the word). The most ancient carpet dates from 7200 BC, found in Palestine.

Since then textiles became coloured with plant extracts and insects (Armenian cochineal, indigo, pomegranate, pepper, saffron…)

 

Arab people were the ones who truly developed the textile industry during the middle Ages, (sometimes the Arab Muslim civilization is presented as a textile civilization).

 

First carpets were made with linen, an abundant plant in the Nile Delta. They were also made with hemp. Although cotton was known since ancient times, it was incorporated later in the production of carpets.

 

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Arts,History of Africa

OLD AND ANTIQUE

9 Apr , 2015  

In the western world, the concept of “old” implies certain values that turn antiques into exclusive artistic treasures. In Africa, however, this concept does not necessarily imply the same values; therefore when an antique is bought in Africa, in reality is an old and sometimes shabby item. This is the reason why The African Touch brings to this art gallery many beautiful and high quality traditional African pieces of art which are valued regarding its aesthetics, symbolism, meaning and history; not regarding its age.

 

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History of Africa,Our trips,People

ASABIYA, NOMADIC SOLIDARITY

26 Feb , 2015  

This term is Arabic for “social solidarity,” with an emphasis on group consciousness, cohesiveness, and unity. Familiar in the pre-Islamic era, the term was popularized by Ibn Khaldun in his magnum opus, The Muqaddimah. Khaldun saw asabiyah as especially strong among nomads with shared blood relations, though neither are a prerequisite for its existence in a social group. In the modern period, the term is analogous to nationalism.

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History of Africa,People

DAVID LIVINGSTONE

19 Feb , 2015  

David Livingstone was a Scottish explorer who arrived to South Africa in 1841 as the minister of the London Missionary Society.

 

He worked in the region during 8 years; then he went to Kalahari Desert discovering the lake Ngami (1849) and Zambezi River (1851). Between 1852 and 1856 he started a trip from the Atlantic Ocean until the Indian Ocean, also discovering the Zambezi waterfalls on 16th November 1855, which became named the Queen of England (Victoria Falls) by Livingstone. 

 

He lost contact during exploration towards the Lake Tanganyika; then the newspaper New York Herald organized an aid expedition leaded by Henry Stanley who in 1871 found him in the city of Ujiji, on the shores of the city, where the famous sentence was pronounced: “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”.

 

He died on 1st May 1873, in a tiny village somewhere in Zambia due to malaria and dysentery. He stood out for his fight against slavery.  

 

Russell E. Train Africana Collection, Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

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