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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Africa Fashion

Aso Lànkí, Kí Ató Ki Ènìyàn (“We Greet Dress Before We Greet Its Wearer”) Collection, 2021.

Nov 18, 2023 – Feb 18, 2024
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States

The 1950s through the 1990s were important decades in Africa. Many countries were claiming independence and the euphoria of decolonization sparked social reordering across the continent. Writers, artists, and musicians joined the Mbari Club; Fela Kuti pioneered the Afrobeat; and Indigenous textiles were embraced once again, a statement that was as political as it was aesthetic. This exhibition, which has already appeared at the Brooklyn Museum and London’s V&A, explores the birth of contemporary African fashion. Garments, photographs, sketches, films, and catwalk footage tell a story of liberation. —Elena Clavarino