by Marianne C. Sané
acrylic and pastel on paper
The current pandemic has left the world unarmed. While Asia, Europe and America have
been through very dark hours, Africa has been the last continent to report cases of
COVID-19. Though it also had its share of economic and human losses, it seems to cope
better than the rest of the world.
This situation led to unfortunate newspapers titles in the Western world. For instance, the
African community in France felt insulted with titles such as “Why is Africa resisting to
COVID-19 ?” Main reply could have been “Why not ?”. In fact, many prejudices surrounds
the continent. In the 19th century, philosopher Hegel referred to Africa as the “ land of
childhood enveloped in the dark mantle of the night”. This vision seems to prevail in 2020.
In my painting named “Healing” I portrayed an allegory of Africa, a woman looking fragile
but who in reality is strong and full of resources. A healing mask from the Kongo people
(located in Democratic republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Angola) leads that
woman while her sky is brighten by signs used in the Dogon (Mali) cosmogony.
With the representation of an African healing mask used in rituals, I wanted to point the local
solutions and research that have been made in many Africans countries. As for the Dogon
signs (up left) I wanted to show that it’s time to acknowledge African knowledge and know
how. Those signs represent the planets which have been observed many years ago by
initiated men, of that community, without modern astronomy material.
This pandemic really showed the world needed healing in many different aspects.
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