This group exhibition provides an opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations on the issue of mobility within Africa.
In the context of a current global discourse where the “South-North exodus” occupies media attention, especially as the Mediterranean becomes the world’s deadliest migration route, statistics show that most Africans move within their own country, in rural-to-urban migration, or to other countries in the same region, therefore creating diasporas at home and abroad. While the term diaspora is now used to refer to any immigrant group and their descendants who maintain a link with their place of origin, it is rarely applied to African populations within Africa. This seems strange when one juxtaposes two persistent themes that often recur in many discussions about the continent: a history and practice of migration long before colonization, and people’s close attachment to place.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has raised several issues about international and national mobility and restrictions. It has also heightened global xenophobia. With one of the world’s fastest growing populations, internal conflicts provoked by resource control and heightened desire for international travel, the pandemic in Africa has triggered reflections on mobility beyond international borders and what it means to live in diaspora. Nevertheless, before the pandemic, how did Africans move within the African continent? Beyond the transatlantic slave trade, how did Africans contribute to global development? These questions offer a launch pad for our ongoing discussion on mobility in Africa.