GSA Homegrown: Celebrating African Architectural Talent
Homegrown is a social media and print campaign that celebrates the African talent in our GSA-Boogertman + Partners International Lecture Series. The series is listed alphabetically and draws conceptually on the idea of the periodic table. Each description has a link to the introductions that we've made over the years, an interesting and perhaps unknown fact about the speaker and the date of their lecture. All Africans, including South Africans and Africans-in-the-Diaspora, are included. At our last count, we've had 31 African speakers out of a total of 47, which we believe is something worth celebrating.
HOMEGROWN # 13 Mariam Kamara
She came, she saw and on Thursday, 15 August 2019 she conquered. Her lecture was one of the most eagerly-anticipated of the series and in it, she took us right out of the context of Johannesburg into the magical and – as yet – little-known narrative of her home town, Niamey, the capital of Niger. No, not Nigeria. She’s one of the continent’s fastest-rising young stars and her appearance during Women’s Month couldn’t have been better timed. An inspiration for a whole continent and beyond. Want to know a few interesting facts? She is also a software engineer. She lives between Rhode Island and Niamey. She’s the recipient of the Rolex Protégé Award 2018 and the Prince Claus Award 2019. She’s spent the past year being mentored by Sir David Adjaye, which she describes as a ‘dream come true.’ She’s got everyone wondering what she’s going to do next . . . no pressure, in other words. She’ll rise to the challenge with ease.
HOMEGROWN # 12 Olalekan Jeyifous
We first saw his work at African Mobilities in Munich in 2017 and swore on the spot that we’d bring him to the GSA! On Thursday, 14 March 2019, he delighted, inspired and provoked his audience with his speculative visual work, which defies easy categorisation but forces and challenges us to think deeply about issues of representation, language and informality. A true one-of-a-kind and someone we’d have back any day. Any day. Want to know a few interesting facts? He was born in Nigeria and raised in Brooklyn. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Cornell University. He’s a visual artist working with architecture, software, film and graphic design to create startling images of a future that, in his words, ‘comes slowly.’ He’s interested in getting people to re-think everything they think they know about cities like Lagos. He’s a visionary.
HOMEGROWN # 11 Stephen Hobbs
He’s been a critic, tutor, visitor, reviewer and contributor to the GSA since its inception in 2016. On Thursday, 6 September 2016, he showed us that art, architecture, urbanism, public discourse and the imagination are not only excellent bedfellows, they’re inseparable. His practice, which also defies easy description, has initiated, installed, performed and exhibited all over the world. He’s one of our sharpest critics and we’re delighted he continues to delight, torment and provoke our students with his insights and wit. Want to know a few interesting facts? He’s a visual artist with a strong interest in public art. He was one of the first artists to move into Maboneng and set up a studio. Dakar is one of his favourite cities in the world. He loves tree houses.