The HealersLSHTM logologo: Africa 05 in collaboration with BBC
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Loulou Cherinet
Cyprien Tokoudagba
Zwelethu Mthethwa
Tracey Rose
Abdoulaye Konate
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work by Abdoulaye Konate

Mali, b. 1953

Abdoulaye Konate studied painting at the Institut National des Arts in Bamako and completed his education at the Instituto Seperior de Arte in Havanna, Cuba. He worked as a graphic designer at the Musee National in Bamako and in 1998, he was appointed Director of the Palais de la Culture. He was also Director of the 'Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine' in Bamako. He has received several awards and his works are to be found in many private and public collections. In 2002, he received the Chevalier d'Ordre National du Mali and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.

Konate started as a painter but later combined these skills with installation work, moving from individual to collective agency, powerfully commentating on political and environmental affairs. In the 1990s he took up one great scourge of West Africa - the encroachment of the Sahel. Ten years on his work depicts another: AIDS. His questioning of the political, social and economic scene of contemporary Mali is now a discourse on how AIDS affects all these aspects of life.

The work showing in the exhibition is on loan from the Revue Noir whose Director, Simon Njami, curated the original Africa Remix exhibition where this work first appeared. Inspired by a form of women's weaving in Mali, it deals with issues of HIV/AIDS. It represents a larger than life painting of a man walking away from the viewer - and life - leaving behind him a 'memory box' containing various paraphernalia of life which represent a kind of legacy. This memory box is reminiscent of the ancestral boxes historically used in many parts of Africa. Today, memory boxes are created by parents who are HIV+ as a legacy, a means of passing down history to those they leave behind.