K. Kofi Moyo and FESTAC ’77: The Activation of a Black Archive

February 12 - March 21, 2021

K. Kofi Moyo and FESTAC ’77: The Activation of a Black Archive resituates, and also finds a place for, a cache of images from the archive of Karega Kofi Moyo, a Chicago-based photographer active between 1968 and 1978, a pivotal time for Black liberation and cultural production. Notably, the Moyo repository, replete with images of Black political, social, and cultural life from that period, includes images that refer back to an auspicious 1977 event for Black diasporic convening in Lagos, Nigeria: the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, known as FESTAC ’77.

In addition to exhibiting a selection of these FESTAC '77 photographs for the first time, the show presents varied contemporary responses to, and interpretations of, Moyo’s FESTAC '77 works. Projects by Enid, Ayrika Hall, Cortlyn Kelly, Fabien Maltais-Bayda, Shane Rothe, Andrew Stock, and Abigail Taubman draw from a Fall 2020 course taught by Romi Crawford and Theaster Gates as part of their Mellon Collaborative Fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry that aimed to activate and turn on a Black photographic archive, such as Moyo’s, and also rouse the art historical significance of FESTAC ’77.

K. Kofi Moyo and FESTAC '77: The Activation of a Black Archive is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions and co-curated by Romi Crawford and Theaster Gates, with Danielle Wright, Assistant Curator, and Alyssa Brubaker, Exhibitions Manager. This exhibition is made possible by support from The Reva and David Logan Foundation, friends of the Logan Center, and the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.