Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI) is a non-profit company specialising in research and publication on the visual arts in Africa. ASAI began in 2005, concerned with the lack of engagement by South African artists, art historians and curators with their peers on the African continent. Since then ASAI has begun to understand its role as both a pan-African project as well as an initiative located in the global south. ASAI produces resources that are expressly intended to contribute towards the development of discourses rooted in (rather than imposed on) formerly colonised contexts, especially in Africa, in order that a more inclusive vision of international art and art history can emerge, informed from ‘below’. Based at the University of Cape Town since 2008, but not funded by or affiliated to the university, ASAI sees its role as bridging academic and popular discourse, with artists being central to this process.
ASAI ‘s major achievement is the establishment of an open-access website which acts as a digital platform for long term and ongoing projects. These digital projects include the production of archives for under-documented artists and community arts organisations; the publication of critical views and debate; and the publication of an online journal, Third Text Africa. Other highlights include curated exhibitions and catalogues, notably Against the Grain; and the project management of Visual Century, a multi-authored series of books on 100 years of South African art.
Text Courtesy of ASAI: https://asai.co.za/