The world’s two largest film industries — Bollywood and Nollywood — are based in Asia and Africa, respectively. As global film festivals expand and Netflix and other companies eye markets on both continents, African and Asian creators are depicting their relationships through media that capture popular narratives, creative economies, and affective meanings of Africa-Asia, beyond and below the political propaganda of solidarity and Global South partnership. They give aesthetic form to the desires, disillusionment, and other emotions that are often unspoken. This workshop foregrounds contemporary non-fiction films and material culture, such as textiles and photography, to examine creative storytelling and artistic expression that explore and narrate life in African-Asian worlds.

The workshop will also feature an exhibition, “Textiles across Continents,” curated by Pashington Obeng which will be displayed at the Conference Center (A6) Lobby over the weekend. The photographs of patchwork quilts known as kawandi on display were produced by Siddi women (descendants of early African immigrants in South Asia) of Karnataka, India. The exhibition showcases firstly, the genealogies of knowledge about the unique African textile cultures and the values they embody among Africans of the Indian Ocean diaspora. Secondly, as the exhibition spotlights Siddi inventions, it also touches on the staging of female ingenuity that intersects with Indian and African visual cultures.

Convened by
  • Shobana Shankar, Professor of History, Stony Brook University
  • Ethiraj Gabriel Dattetreyan, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, New York University
  • David Ludden, Professor of History, New York University
Hosted by
  • NYUAD Humanities Research Fellowship for the Study of the Arab World

In Collaboration with

NYU Center for Global Asia
NYUAD Division of Arts and Humanities
Henry Luce Foundation
NYUAD Global Asia Initiative
NYUAD African Studies

Open to the NYUAD Community.

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