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First Ever 'Africa Fashion' Exhibition Opens in London

First Ever 'Africa Fashion' Exhibition Opens in London

Tuesday, 28 June, 2022 - 10:15
The exhibition showcases African designers, textiles and styles from the mid-20th century to the present day CARLOS JASSO AFP

Britain's most extensive exhibition of African fashion is set to open in London, showcasing designers past and present, as well as the continent's diverse heritage and cultures.

"Africa Fashion", at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum from Saturday, is also the country's first exhibition dedicated to the medium.

Project curator Elisabeth Murray said the show will provide a "glimpse into the glamour and politics of the fashion scene", AFP reported.

"We wanted to celebrate the amazing African fashion scene today. So the creativity of all the designers, stylists, photographers, and looking at the inspiration behind that," she told AFP.

Included in the exhibition are objects, sketches, photos and film from across the continent, starting from the African liberation years in the 1950s to 1980s to up-and-coming contemporary designers.

Senior curator Christine Checinska has called it "part of the V&A's ongoing commitment to foreground work by African heritage creatives".

Global anti-racism movements, including Black Lives Matter, have forced Britain to reassess its divisive colonial past, from museum collections and public monuments to history teaching in schools.

The V&A was founded in 1852, as Britain under queen Victoria expanded its global empire, including, in the decades that followed, in Africa.

But Checinska said African creativity had "largely been excluded or misrepresented in the museum, owing to the historic division between art and ethnographic museums arising from our colonial roots and embedded racist assumptions".

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