Wednesday 12 May 2021
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A reflection from the Art Summit

The art summit happened over the past week and I must say this was absolutely revolutionary.

I honestly can’t recall just how many times I’ve spoken about the arts. I guess it’s a passion, but I also believe in the impact the creative industry will have in our economy.

It’s just timely that the summit happened now, because it has planted a seed that is ready erupt and flourish.

The summit also brought a few key issues to light that really need attention too.

It made mention of struggles that creatives all over the world, deal with daily. From underplayed systems, to the struggles women have to impact or make their mark in companies otherwise known as male dominated.

With the summary and reflection on the summit concluded, I had 2 issues that came out which irritated me.

So the summit had a few speakers both local and international and they addressed a number of key issues concerning the creative industry.

One specific gentleman had pointed out that a lot of the findings that were presented were Eurocentric in nature and he was adamant that the issues should be in an African context.

So here’s my problem with that. In an industry that has been around for decades and only recently started getting its recognition in Africa and even more recently in Namibia, for us to demand issues be resolved in an African context is just plain right arrogant and ignorant.

We need to learn that as much as we were oppressed and removed from society in our yesteryear, the same people that were smart enough to do this are more than capable to feed us the information we need. Our un-forgiveness of the white man will be our downfall in a world run on the systems of the white man.

Europe is years ahead of us when it comes to the creative industry and had ample time and experiences that they have learned from. They can teach us what they had to learn the hard way. It is sad that our arrogance wouldn’t allow us to be taught because of the past.

Europe has moved on from their colonial errors and kept building, we are still in the rough not wanting to let go. Now I get it, Europe and Africa experienced a totally time during colonialism and I do not want to take that away from Africa, but do we really have to wait for our oppressed generation to die out before we can learn from people who have tried to rectify what their forefathers had done?

There are so many ways in which the “white man” has impacted the creative industry and there is no way we should allow propaganda and politics to get involved in an industry that has for years fought against such.

To the artist who refuses to conform to the way of the “white man”, you’re only playing yourself. Our black community does not appreciate the art as much as the white man invests in it.

We need to let go of our pride, there’s a patriotic pride and an arrogant pride and if you feed from the arrogant pride you only fuel something that is relevant in your world, it will not impact anyone else but you and your craft.

Also to the artists of Namibia, being at the summit it was clear to see who the real artists are, not the social media warriors who attack and drag everyone in the name of art, but it was great to see that there are creatives who care a great deal for the wellness of the industry and the impact the rest of the community will make of this.

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