Adult Programs

Of Africa: Histories, Collections & Reflections (Day 1)

Of Africa: Histories, Collections & Reflections

Of Africa is a multiplatform and multiyear project aimed at rethinking historical and contemporary representations of Africa.

On the 25th anniversary of the exhibition Into the Heart of Africa - which revealed deep social, political and racial gaps between the institutional perception of what constituted the “museum public” and the actual complexity of Ontario’s and Toronto’s society – the ROM welcomes a reflection on different ways to present and interpret images, ideas, and histories from Africa and its diaspora. This symposium aims to reconfigure the museum as a place of dialogue and discussion that can contribute in affecting or changing our habits of thinking and seeing.


Of Africa Promo: $10 plus HST/day


Friday, October 24, 2014, 10:30 am - 5 pm
Doors open at 10:00 am 

PANEL 1: Learning from Into the Heart of Africa 
Activists and participants to the controversy that was sparked by the exhibition Into the Heart of Africa reflect on the issues brought to the fore from those events and their historical, present and future relevance.

Speakers:  Afua Cooper, Geraldine Mariba, Yaw Oluwasanjo Akyeaw, Dan Rahimi
Moderator: Honor Ford-Smith

PANEL 2: Africa and the Diaspora in Western institutions
The analysis of recent exhibitions, debates and museum selection criteria brings to the fore the elusiveness and complexities of definitions and commitment to the presentation and representation of African and Diasporic art in European and north American institutions.

Speakers: Kenneth Montague, Olubukola A. Gbadegesin, Zoe Whitley.
Moderator: Andrea Fatona

PANEL 3: African Modernities
From different disciplinary and institutional vantage points, the panel challenges the ideological use of time when addressing African history, spaces and creativity.

Speakers: Pablo Idahosa, Elizabeth Harney, Ato Quayson, Fatimah Tuggar.
Moderator: Karen Milbourne


See Keynote


This program is supported by the William Thorsell Forum Fund.

With Thanks to:
The Power Plant
The University of Toronto, Departments of Comparative Literature, African Studies
The University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus


Royal Ontario Museum
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
Level 1B


President's Choice School Entrance ►



American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available for all ROM lectures with at least three weeks advance notice.  Please, email to request the service.