Africa State of Mind

Africa State of Mind

14 Dec 19–1 Mar 20


14 Dec 19–1 Mar 20

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Book online today and save over £1 on adult admission tickets. Please note: your ticket also grants access to Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British ArtPurchasing a Gift Aid ticket will enable us to claim an extra 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate. With your support, people of all ages can be inspired by our exhibitions and creative activities. To enable us to claim Gift Aid, please give your full name, first line of address and postcode at the checkout. By purchasing this ticket you agree that you have read our Gift Aid Declaration.

Africa State of Mind is an art exhibition exploring the work of an emergent generation of photographers from across the African continent.

Artists from 10 different countries interrogate ideas of ‘Africanness’ through highly subjective renderings of life and identity on the continent, revealing Africa to be a state of mind as much as a physical location.

This exhibition documents the modern African city in all its dynamism and contradiction. The fluidity of gender and sexual identity is addressed through compelling portraiture, and the legacy of history, from slavery and colonialism to apartheid, becomes the source of new myths and dreamscapes. 

Africa State of Mind takes place at a time in which popular Western views of the continent still remain limited. Ethnographic-style imagery of the colonial period once presented Africans as the primitive people of a dark place. Today, contemporary news reports often still portray the continent as a place of chaos, corruption and disease. An ‘Africa rising’ narrative celebrates the growth of a new technology sector and an aspirational middle class, while glossing over the inequalities of income that still hinder social opportunity.

By contrast, Africa State of Mind features photography that seeks to address the complexity of what it means, and how it feels, to live in Africa today.

Exhibited artists: Emmanuelle Andrianjafy, Sammy Baloji, Raphael Barontini, Neil Beloufa, Girma Berta, Eric Gyamfi, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Lebohang Kganye, Namsa Leuba, Michael MacGarry, Sabelo Mlangeni, Musa N Nxumalo, Ruth Ossai, Athi-Patra Ruga, Michael Tsegaye


Related Events

Gallery Tours: Every Tuesday within the exhibition dates,12-12.30pmFree with your admission ticket. Led by a member of the RWA staff or a volunteer. Book now on this page. 


 A touring exhibition from New Art Exchange, Nottingham curated by Ekow Eshun. Africa State of Mind is a project strand of NAE’s three year programme, Africa/UK – Transforming Art Ecologies, which has been supported by Arts Council, England’s, Ambitions for Excellence funds.

Image Credit: Athi-Patra Ruga, Night of the Long Knives I, 2013, Archival Ink-jet Print on Photorag Baryta, 150 x 190 cm, Photographer Hayden Phipps


Opening times

This ticket may be redeemed any day that we are open within the exhibition dates (14 Dec 19–1 Mar 20).

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm
Sunday 11am-5pm
CLOSED Mondays
Last admission 30 minutes before closing. The RWA occasionally closes early for special events. Please call ahead or check the website for details.


Ways to Pay

ONLINE TICKETS: Save over £1 on adult admission tickets by booking online at least 12 hours before your visit. Simply show your email order receipt to reception to gain entry. Please note that each ticket can only be used once. 

RWA ART PASS: The Art Pass allows you to visit any RWA exhibition, as many times as you want, for one whole year. 


Adults: £7.95 (includes an 80p donation) £6.95 online
Concessions: £6.75 (includes a 70p donation). Pay on the door
Under 18s/SGS, UoB & UWE students: FREE
RWA Art Pass Holders: FREE Purchase an Art Pass
Friends of the RWA: FREE Join today
National Art Pass holders: 50% discount on ticket price. Pay on the door

Gift Aid Declaration: Purchasing a Gift Aid ticket will enable us to claim an extra 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate. By purchasing a Gift Aid ticket you agree that you have read and agree to the following Gift Aid Declaration:

Please treat this entry ticket to the RWA as a Gift Aid Donation. I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.   


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