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Africa in Focus

Articles and videos that highlight The Met's engagement with Africa.

The designer Thebe Magugu wearing a shirt depicting two women seated next to each other

Thebe Magugu on the Political Power of Fashion

The innovative designer speaks about how fashion can address social issues, from gender-based violence to government corruption.
Mulatu Astatke plays the xylophone in front of a mic.

Digital Premiere—Mulatu Astatke in The Temple of Dendur

Known as the father of Ethio-jazz, composer and multi-instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke rose to international fame in the 1970s and 1980s with his unique mix of American jazz and Ethiopian music, drawing comparisons to jazz giants Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.

Installation view of the exhibition "Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara.

Change and Continuity in the Sahel

Join Met curator Alisa LaGamma for a conversation with Manthia Diawara, a writer, filmmaker, and leading scholar of the African diaspora, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara.

A conversation with the artist Wangechi Mutu and Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art.

Five people smile and stand in front of an ivory wall with white text that reads: "On the Shores

Introducing New York to the Cultural Wealth of Medieval West Africa

Two recent fellows from Senegal reflect on their time at The Met conducting outreach for the exhibition Sahel.

See this landmark exhibition featuring the cultural achievements of various medieval empires in sub-Saharan Africa.

Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, in blue, performs an acoustic concert with Cheikh Ndiaye (left) at The Met.

Baaba Maal’s Songs of the Sahel

The world-renowned Senegalese singer carries the stories of the Sahel to The Met.
Four women are seated around a bowl, looking upward toward the light

Storytelling and West African Cinema

Filmmakers Rahmatou Keïta and Fanta Nacro speak about their work’s relationship to narrative traditions of the Sahel.
Photograph of a balafon, a xylophone-like percussion instruments made of wood against a dark background.

How Griots Tell Legendary Epics through Stories and Songs in West Africa

In the western Sahel, legendary tales are shared and passed down through different forms of expression, but especially spoken word.
Baaba Maal performing onstage in front of a large video screen displaying women smiling and clapping.

Senegalese icon Baaba Maal highlights traditional instruments and musical storytelling of the Sahel in this rare acoustic performance in The Met's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

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