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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

Global Studio Sessions: Johannesburg & Abidjan feat. Jamal Nxedlana, Ngadi Smart and Malick Kebe

September 24, 2020

Get a glimpse into the practices and realities of three designers based in Ivory Coast and South Africa. VCFA’s MFA in Graphic Design is proud to present three micro-lectures by our Guest Designers, followed by a Q&A moderated by VCFA C-Chair and faculty member Sereina Rothenberger!

Malick Kebe dreams of putting Abidjan on the map. Through the lens of his iPhone and thanks to his unique vision, he created a universe that he perfectly masters, mixing modernity to his African origins. Malick has shared his works via his Instagram account “From Abidjan” and is considered an influencer in West Africa. Through this channel, Apple contacted him and published some of his work through #shotoniphone.

This collaboration pushed “From Abidjan” to the front of the scene by allowing him to exhibit his photographs in Atlanta, Paris, Abidjan and Zanzibar. In July 2019, Malick won the first Mobile Photography award from PHmuseum photography, in the “Fashion” category.

Between Abidjan and the rest of the world, there is only one step. This is what Malick advocates through his achievements.

See his work here: https://www.instagram.com/from_abidjan/?hl=en

Jamal Nxedlana (b. 1985, Durban; lives Johannesburg South Africa) is a visual artist and cultural organiser. He is in the unique position of being both a cultural producer and the founder of a number of independent organizations that support the South Africa arts community. His photography and images are rooted in Afrosurrealism and explore themes of race, identity, popular culture and mass production.

He is the founder of Bubblegum Club, a cultural organization and digital platform which curates and celebrates new pop culture. He is also a founding member of the artistic collective CUSS Group. Over the last decade, this Johannesburg based collective has explored the hybrid culture of post-post-colonial South Africa. Nxedlana’s images were recently featured in The New Black Vanguard, a book, and exhibition addressing the radical transformation taking place in fashion and art today.

Check out Jamal’s work here: https://www.instagram.com/jamalaun/?hl=en

Ngadi Smart is a Sierra Leonean visual artist based between Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and London, U.K. She works in the mediums of illustration, collage photography. Her work is usually motivated by the representation of minorities, cultural identity, as well as themes on Feminism and gender roles.

She likes to deconstruct mainstream society’s preconceived views of what the definitions of “normal”, “beautiful”, and “right” are.
She has illustrated for The Atlantic, OneWorld Magazine, Reportagen Magazine, The U.N, and for publishing houses such as Riverhead Books NYC.

See Ngadi’s phenomenal portfolio here: https://www.ngadismart.com/