An Investigation into the Intersection between Spirituality, Sound and Blackness in Contemporary African Art


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Michaelis School of Fine Art


This research project investigates the relationship between African spiritual practices and African sonic practices as a way of understanding a specifically African conception of Blackness. The project looks to an increase in the representation of African traditions and spiritualities in contemporary African art by young, Black artists and curators. The intersections of sound, technology, ancestry, Black spectrality, and speculation that stem from an engagement with African spiritualities are key ideas explored and unpacked in the research. The research will mobilise this spiritual turn in contemporary African practices to investigate how sound, which acts as one of the components of spiritual engagement, is used and understood in African visual cultures. This under-researched field of African sonic studies and its relationship to visual cultures is key in understanding young Black art practices that continuously find innovative ways of making sense of their Blackness.