The African Futures Institute was founded in 2021, at first as a response to the inability of contemporary architectural education tograpple with the creative, social, and political challenges thrown up by including ‘race’ as a meaningful category in the study and shaping of our built environments. Following the 18th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, The Laboratory of the Future, the AFI’s trajectory has shifted. This 45-minute talk, which includes videos, sound clips and recordings, looks at where, why, and how the AFI goes next.
With the complicit desire to bring to light possible spaces of African realities in Europe, Leve has joined forces with Top Manta. A Barcelona-based community from Senegal, an Africa built from afar, created by the 'manters.' Informal street vendors who, singularized by institutional racism, are forced to sell sneakers and accessories on sheets (the “manta”) spread out on the city streets. In 2015 they founded the Union of Barcelona Street Vendors, and in 2017 they created the Top Manta cooperative in order to produce ethical fashion. This meeting of architecture and the African diaspora has encouraged the creation of alternate stories and architectures to the hegemonic ones, challenging us to think about the city in different ways. Following the Fish is the rehearsal of this joint effort.
This presentation follows the participation of Catalan culture in the Collateral Events of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with the project Following the Fish by Leve and Top Manta, organized by the Institut Ramon Llull. The conference will end with a closing performance by the team Seguint el peix, with the special collaboration of the musician Dani Pulmón.
This event is presented as part of Song for Many Movements, an ephemeral experiment in which the ground floor of MACBA becomes a stage for encounters, conversations and shared listening. Curated by María Berríos and Sabel Gavaldon.