Black Narrative Artist Shines in Senegal and South Carolina


The narrative works of artist Angela Franklin-Faye are on view in the 13th edition of the Biennale of Contemporary African Art – DAK’ ART in Dakar, Senegal from May 3 to June 2, 2018. Franklin is one of two U.S. artists selected for the 2018 Biennale. This international exhibition, titled “A New Humanity,” features seventy-five artists from thirty-three countries around the world. According to the Artistic Director, Simon Njami, “The new humanity is referring to a text by Frantz Fanon where the Martinique psychiatrist defines the decolonized man as ‘a new man.'”

Franklin says of her work: “My works are narrative tales that explore and give testimony to people of The Diaspora and their shared experiences and philosophies related to other cultures. The works celebrate, honor and define their history, relationship to each other and relationship with those cultures/countries who share a similar history.”

The majority of the works selected for DAK’ART 2018 are from Franklin’s IN THE SCRAMBLE series. It explores moments of reconnection that occur when people from disparate regions of The Diaspora arrive in a new place and realize both the connections they have and the ties they have lost. Franklin says, “It is the yearning for what once was or the dream of what could be that is narrated in many of these pieces. I choose to create those moments of transformation when we realize that the geographical lines that designate a country or continent along with the people are sometimes merely a physical border, but the intensity of a shared experience enables them to cross those lines.”

The five works in the DAK’ Art exhibition include:

1) In THE SCRAMBLE, She Lost Her Sisters
2) We Carried the Seed, but We Forgot Your Face
3) We Answered with our Feet
4) We Buried the “petit nègre” Because Men Were Born!
5) Disrespected, Marginalized, Undervalued and Still Standing

Says Franklin, “However painful or divisive the theme is, for me, the beauty is to integrate the subtleties of fabric, paint and a variety of mixed media to tell the story. Fabric is often perceived as a delicate medium, yet the messages I choose to deliver are often quite powerful. The brilliance of color and the tactile appeal often draw people in. At that moment, the initial human reaction of not wanting to address or acknowledge difficult issues is offset. Poet Audré Lourde said, ‘When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So, it is better to speak.’ It is through my art work that I best express my opinion and response to social and global issues.”

Developed to encourage dialogue and foster understanding, ‘A Dialogue in Black and White’ is a thought provoking exhibition on view May 25 – June 9 at the Charleston City Gallery (South Carolina) during the 2018 Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Curator, Torreah Washington selected sixty-two artists to work independently on 31 themes that “reflect the issues of our time.” Themes included immigration, addiction, climate change, racism, etc. Franklin was given the theme immigration and her piece titled “The Angels Cried – As They Knew it was Never Only… 26” was inspired by the 26 young Nigerian women and girls who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on November 5, 2017.

She says, “For me it was natural to discuss immigration from an international perspective to understand the global magnitude of this issue. Many will question why people would make such a perilous journey. Societies often classify migration in terms of economic versus victims of war, political unrest, famine, etc. with one issue granted greater understanding and acceptance. From my world-view, it is a difficult, risky and soul-wrenching decision to leave home and I hope this piece can some of that.”

Angela Franklin earned a Bachelor in Art from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, a Master in Fine Arts from Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, and a Master in Online Education and Leadership from Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in Dubai. The Art Hub-Abu Dhabi; Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi; Renwick Gallery- Smithsonian Institution; Ohio Craft Museum and the Musée Boribana – Dakar are just a few of the spaces and museums that have exhibited her art. Here works are in the corporate collections of Atlanta Life Insurance, The NationsBank, Arco Chemical and Household Finance.

Dividing her time between the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, and the U.S., Angela Franklin is also the Founder and director of Chez Alpha Books in Dakar, Senegal – a well-recognized multicultural bookstore and academic resource center.

For more information regarding the work of Angela Franklin, or to know more about Chez Alpha Books, visit the following links:

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For more details, Angela Franlin at / +971506610722

Angela Franklin

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