Makeba!, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2011.
Makeba!, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2011.
Makeba!, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2011.
On View
Aug 26, 2011–Dec 30, 2011
Main Level, Contemporary Gallery

This exhibition consists of a collection of recordings by South African singer Miriam Makeba together with artifacts from the history of South African music. 

Sponsored by Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency; Krannert Art Museum Director's Circle; and Krannert Art Museum Council

The exhibition is part of a larger body of work by Siemon Allen called RECORDS (the third of his collection projects titled Imaging South Africa), exploring the global movements of Makeba's music and image through the display of record covers and artifacts. Allen charts each collected item's travel history from the place of its original recording to the place where he acquired it. Plotting such a journey results in a complex network of exchanges that maps the political landscape of South Africa under apartheid.

Miriam Makeba, also known as Mama Africa, popularized African Music around the world, appearing with such stars as Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, and Nina Simone. Her musical style fused American Jazz with African sounds long before the phrase "world music" was coined.

Makeba rose from the townships of Johannesburg to become an international star after appearing in the 1959 anti-apartheid documentary film Come Back Africa, which made an enormous impression on viewers abroad. She played the lead female role and became an outspoken critic of the apartheid government. Her activism resulted in her expulsion that set in motion thirty years in exile. During this time, Makeba dedicated her music to the political struggle of black South Africans under apartheid.

Curator: Tumelo Mosaka