*** Art in Disguise ***

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quest for New Cultural Researches in Africa.

The only way to improve real Knowledge of a particular thing, event or situation in any given society is through researches. This means that research is the basis for any new discovery which helps in sustaining learnership in any given system. In business, companies rely on researches to improve their products just to have a better advantage on firms producing substitutes products. Aside from that, market surveys are being carried out periodically by business men and women to know the kind of products that are moving business in the market. That is why people keep switching between the sale of one product to another depending on the general market demand at a particular period or time.
This means that government policies in any sector of the economy must be drawn, based on the outcome of the current researches in that sector. Otherwise, such economic policies will not be able to improve the living conditions or meet the current demands of the people. The cultural sector of any nation is not exception to this. The cultural researches made on the African continent by Europeans in the pre/colonial period were not full fledge so to say. For example, the documentation of certain traditional practices of the African peoples were seemingly bias to only what the writer(s) understand about such cultures. The implication in this type of documentation is that, one’s understanding of a particular event is not the ultimate knowledge of the event.
The discovery of certain cultural materials, for instance, was on sheer accident and since there was no prior plan on ground to provide a safe habour for such materials, they were criminally taken away outside the confines of the Africa continent. The remaining ones can be found in local museums with dust sometimes covering them all round. Since then, recycled researches have been made on these old artifacts with very little effort to diversify interest in other cultural opportunities. The products of the past cultural traditions like Nok, Benin, Dogon, Bamileke, are just reference point for the study of African art. They are not meant to become avenue for lazy researchers to recycle ideas into a document can not provide solution to the current cultural need in Africa.
There are new cultural challenges on the African continent and researches on the these old artifacts can not take Africa forward beyond the level it is now cultural-wise. Africa at the moment needs studies that can turn cultural sectors of its nations into series of opportunities for the benefit of the people. Investing heavily into cultural researches that will provide new knowledge on how to move Africa to the next level is what African scholars desire at the moment. Although, in most situations, government does not give the required attention to issues of culture, researchers on the other hand should try to improve the quality of their cultural researches. For research is the first and crucial as well as most important thing needed in the transformation of Africa in cultural perspective.