It feels like a lifetime ago when TSA editor-in-chief, Bukola Oyebode, reached out to ask that I come on board as one of three editors of a print publication she was putting together. Together with Billie McTernan, Bukola had started working on a really exciting and ambitious project: TSA’s Collector’s Series. The 280-page hybrid publication would spotlight 60 artists and collectives from six African countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, DRC and Morocco.
What really excited me about this project, beyond its ambition and the Pan-African all-women team driving it, was that Bukola and Billie were also interested in working mostly with writers who are based in the cities they are writing about. I remember speaking to writers in Addis Ababa, some of whom would not have considered themselves as arts writers who knew so much about their cities and the practice of the artists we had commissioned them to write about, things that would not have been apparent to me as an editor living between Cape Town and Pretoria at the time.
Working on this project opened by eyes to so much, including my own limitations as a freelance cultural worker, working on too many projects, during a pandemic. I was burnt out, broke and could not see the project to its conclusion. I was so pleased when the team reached out to say that it had been published. This remains one of my proudest projects to have contributed to and I hope you that if you are able to get a copy (stockists here).
The team worked so hard, under challenges that many editorial teams with huge resources would not have experienced, and it was a real honour to be on the team. I hope that this is only the beginning and that we see more editions and that ambitious projects like Bukola’s continue to sprout across the continent. This project has shown that the talent is there, from writers to artists, and what we lack is the financial support that projects like these receive elsewhere in the world.
Mmakhotso Lamola, Zayaan Khan, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, Afroscope/Isaac Nana Opoku, Amina Agueznay, Igshaan Adams, Lois Arde-Acquah, Latifah Idriss, Sheila Chukwulozie, Wendimagegn Belete, Mohamed Arejdal, Godelive Kasangati Kabena, Fatiha Zemmouri, Thania Petersen, Michael Tsegaye, Amine El Gotaibi, Jumoke Sanwo, Zohra Opoku, Merikokeb Berhanu, David Alabo, Anastasie Langu Lawinner, Atang Tshikare, Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, Léonard Pongo, Nelson Makengo, Lhola Amira, Laila Hida & Le18, Nengi Omuku, Addis Aemero, hFACTOR, Sethembile Msezane, Godelive Kasangati Kabena, Haroon Gunn Salie, Alexandre Kyungu Mwilambwe, Kimathi Mafafo, Barry Christianson, Isaac Sahani Dato, Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi, Elisabeth Efua Sutherland, Dawit Seto, Joseph Obanubi, Mukenge/Schellhammer, Sarah Abu Bushra, Houda Terjuman, Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, Rida Tabit, Manny Jefferson, Robel Temesgen, Theresah Ankomah, Ayọ Akínwándé, Maheder Haileselassie, Akwasi Bediako Afrane, Mo Baala, M’Barek Bouhchichi, Asafo Black Collective, Farata Collectif, Cultural Intelligence Association (CIA Lagos) and Trick54.
Immaculata Abba, Hiwot Abebe, Yaa Addae, Maheder Aekalu, Nana Adwoa Tekyiwa Agyemang, Oris Aigbokhaevbolo, Bernard Akoi-Jackson, Hanou Amendah, Michelle Angwenyi, Jude Anogwih, Mia Arderne, Adjoa Armah, Fui Can-Tamakloe, Ama Asantewa Diaka, Tandazani Dhlakama, Nene Aïssatou Diallo, Kalkidan Fessehaye, Faridah Folawiyo, Maud Houssais, Ashraf Jamal, Marinette Jeannerod, Jean Kamba, Adjo Kisser, Bongani Kona, Mbassi Landry, Keren Lasme, Kuukuwa Manful, Khanya Mashabela, Nioni Masela, Horcelie Sinda Wa Mbongo, Desta Meghoo, Lindi Mngxitama, moshood, Nkgopoleng Moloi, Rachell Morillo, Marie Moignard, Houda Outarahout-Millet, Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa, Jean-Sylvain Tshilumba Mukendi, Besufekad Mulu, Joseph Omoh Ndukwu, IfeOluwa Nihinlola, Patrick Nzazi, Baba Oladeji, adeoluwa oluwajoba, Isaac Nana Opoku, Roli O’tsemaye, Bukola Oyebode, Phokeng Setai, Cindy Sissokho, Nolan Stevens, Ama Benewaa Tawiah, Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo, Wana Udobang, Kwame Write and Metasebia Yoseph.
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