“No human being can exist in complete independence from a nation or a culture. Yet… while individuals might be geographically bound within a nation, while they might be located within a given culture, their imaginations are not; they can transcend boundaries”. 

Megan Sickmueller: Understanding Afropolitanism 


african artist

Ibrahim Mahama 

A Grain of Wheat,1918–45 


Mixed media 

Dimensions variable 


It is impossible to conceive global reality without the de-definition of diasporic identities or the multiplicity of existences in diverse geographic spaces. It is not a new phenomenon but has become increasingly visible, transforming all spheres of human realization, including art.  

african artist

El Anatsui 

Elephant in The Room 


63.3 x 105 in 

Wall hanging 

Photo courtesy Efie Gallery 


In this context, centering on identities and knowing their expressions generates the need to form emotional territories that are continuously contaminated along their displacements and, at the same time, give shape to new expressions grouped together under words that expand themselves in their meaning.  

African artist

Pascale Marthine Tayou 

Arbre à Palabre  


157.78 in x 88.5 in x 23.6 in  

Plastic World 

June 22 – October 1, 2023. Exhibition view 

© Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2023  

Photo: Norbert Miguletz 


Hence, the emergence of Afropolitanism as a new territory into which a new generation of African artists is inserted, making their inheritances and practices visible in the global reality. To practice Afropolitanism — as Mbembe writes — is to recognize the common humanity of those people one meets, since they are all part of this world and its intricate histories. 

African art

Yinka Shonibare 

Hybrid Mask (Ndeemba) 


30.7 in x 19.6 in x 19.6 in 

Wood, acrylic paint, raffia and brass 

Photo: Stephen White & Co.