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The Latitudes Podcast featuring Ekow Eshun

On Blackness and Beauty with Ekow Eshun


What I know for sure is that Black people have multitudes, when you work with the work of Black people, as I do often, you will not go starving, you will not go short. That the work has a richness and a depth that for me is often breathtaking. What I'm doing a lot of the time is illuminating some of the space and ideas and aesthetics. - Ekow Eshun

In Episode 9 of the Latitudes Podcast, host Refiloe Mpakanyane talks to Ekow Eshun; a British writer, journalist, broadcaster and curator, about his abiding penchant for doing the difficult (and sometimes agonising) in order to spark meaningful conversations in audiences. A thoughtful and considered conversationalist, Ekow reflects on a multifaceted and impactful career that has spanned magazines, books, curating and broadcasting. He credits curiosity and a search for new ways of seeing and representation as the drive behind his work.  

We explore Ekow’s career highlights, his most recent offerings – think In The Black Fantastic - and look ahead to what's to come.

Eshun is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, and the former Director of the ICA, London. He is the curator of exhibitions including the critically acclaimed In the Black Fantastic at the Hayward Gallery, London, and author of books including Africa State of Mind andBlack Gold of the Sun, shortlisted for the Orwell prize. He has contributed to books on artists including Mark Bradford, Chris Ofili, Kehinde Wiley, John Akomfrah and Wangechi Mutu.

Beauty isn't about something superficial, something that sits on top. Beauty becomes fundamental, because there's a politics to beauty. There's a way of asserting and insisting on visibility, of celebrating virtuosity. - Ekow Eshun 

About the Latitudes Podcast

Hosted by dynamic broadcast journalist and penchant for the arts Refiloe Mpakanyane, The Latitudes Podcast, which is the only podcast dedicated to contemporary African art, is an immersive and engaging platform that builds a new layer of access to the contemporary visual arts from Africa.

Latitudes is now a pan-African platform with a global audience, and this podcast is an additional discoverability tool for global audiences to uncover African art and learn about the featured topics and speakers.

Season one of the Latitudes Podcast explores new ways of accessing and thinking about the contemporary visual arts from Africa, while building a robust archive of thought leadership.

About Refiloe Mpakanyane

Refiloe Mpakanyane is a broadcast journalist, with a penchant for the arts. Known for her love and support of local African literature, art and artists, Mpakanyane has an Honours Degree from the Wits School of Journalism and majored in International Relations, Media Studies and English Literature for her undergrad. Her firm grounding in the critical, analytical and creative thinking of the humanities discipline has underpinned her passion for broadcasting, leading her to delve into working not only behind the scenes in radio and television production, but in front of the camera and hosting her own radio shows as well.

About Latitudes Online

Latitudes Online is the world's leading online marketplace for art from Africa. Discover and buy artworks from over 1,700 artists and enjoy editorial from leading voices on the continent. When you buy from Latitudes Online you have peace of mind that your artwork will be safely delivered to you in perfect condition. Click here to start your collecting journey.

About iTOO Artinsure

iTOO is a collective of industry leading experts across a range of special risk insurance offerings. Art and collectables are a fast growing asset class around the world. Representing years of value that could diminish in a matter of seconds, it’s critical to take the time to insure with an expert who understands the length and breadth of the industry. Damage, an increasing rise in cultural crime and forgery can translate to serious loss in terms of your appreciating works and collectables.

Further Reading In Articles

African Artist Directory

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