For its Red Africa season, the Shoreditch-based Calvert 22 gallery is exploring the cultural relationship between Africa and the Soviet Union.
The season’s centrepiece is Things Fall Apart, an exhibition of artists whose work deals with cultural and political links between the two. Named after Nigerian writer China Achebe’s classic post-colonial novel, the show tracks the loss of communist utopianism in Africa following the collapse of the eastern bloc. It is the third in a series of shows curated by Mark Nash, a film theorist at Birbeck, University of London. All of Nash's shows at Calvert 22 have dealt with the aftermath of communism.
Artists featured in the exhibition include Filipa César, Onejoon Che, Radovan Cukić and Ivan Manojlović, Angela Ferreira, Yevgeniy Fiks, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Isaac Julien, Stevan Labudović and Milica Tomić, Tonel, The Travelling Communiqué Group, and Jo Ractliffe.
A series of events will be staged in tandem with the exhibition. Although the programme has yet to be fully announced, planned events include screenings of Chris Marker’s experimental essay film Sans Soleil (1983) and Abderrahmane Sissako’s political early works Octobre (1993) and Rostov-Luanda (1997). The directors Haile Gerima, Kara Lynch and Sana Na N'Hada will also feature in the programme.
Founded in 2009, the Calvert 22 Foundation is a non-for-profit organisation that aims to nurture and promote contemporary art from Eastern Europe and Russia.