“Colours of Africa” featuring Namibian designer Frauke Stegmann
By Freeman ya Ngulu.
Cape Town-based Design Indaba, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, has launched an online project called “Colours of Africa” featuring Namibian designer Frauke Stegmann as she laments the loss of biodiversity in Namibia.
Featuring a kaleidoscope of 60 artists from across the continent including Namibia’s own, Colous of Africa offers a bespoke online interactive experience where a browser can pick a colour and see how the artist interprets it.
A random Russian roulette style interaction can lead to a rabbit hole of intrigues as the colour black is showcased by civil engineer and entrepreneur Jefferson Krua as the the colour of protest with a depiction of Liberian women who demand an end to injustice titled “How Black Unified a Liberian Movement.
For example Yellow is described as fashion and food, as two African women use yellow to explore heritage and tradition. For her work titled “Ex-Swamp, Namibian designer Frauke Stegmann designed and installed a plaque which memorialise the loss of a once rich marshland.” The website reads, “Sixty years ago, located in what is now the city of Windhoek, the water from a natural mountain hot spring trickled down and gathered in a luxuriant marshland – stories from the 1940s still witness the nocturnal call of a thousand frogs.”
Another past collaboration between Google and Design Indaba is Africa Now, a series of annual exhibitions and curated content by Design Indaba and Google survey creative work being produced across the continent at the moment it happens.
It seeks and captures a wide breadth of creative work currently produced on the continent – from architecture, furniture and functional handmade items to fashion, technology and sustainable designs. Running through the exhibition as a common thread is that all the products and projects were designed in response to specific local conditions and African solutions to African problems.