Art in medieval West Africa
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB700
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
The first expansion of Islam from the Arabian Peninsula was westwards, into Egypt, North Africa (Ifriquyya) and Morocco (Maghreb). By the later medieval period the influence of Islam spread southwards into West Africa and the Sahel, connecting with the great empires of Mali and Ghana.
In absorbing the varied and distinctive influences encountered, the architecture and visual culture of Islam in Africa assumed a unique flavour, which will be the subject of this course. We will look at the aesthetics and form of architecture and the Qu’ran, and other related decorative arts, including textiles and metalwork.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• The spread of Islam in North and West Africa
• The development of Islamic Architecture in North and West Africa.
• The aesthetics of early Qu’rans in the regions.
• Decorative arts and cultural artefacts in the regions.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Describe some the main features of Islamic Art in North and West Africa.
• Recognize key architectural landmarks and styles and how they evolved.
• Identify some of the main arts and crafts that fed into Islamic visual heritage in Africa.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to buy a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
• VB257 - Islamic Art in the medieval world
• VB429 - Asian art: cultural synergies in the Indian subcontinent
• VB438 - Arts of the empire-builders: Timurids, Safavids and Mughals
• VB601 - Think like an artist: in early Moghul India.
Anita Chowdry is a London based visual artist, educator and researcher. Her particular interest is in the arts of the Islamic World and South Asia, and the materials and processes that went into them. She has an M.A. in Art and Science from Central Saint Martin’s UAL, and is currently engaged in the codicological study of a group of 15th Century Turcoman manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Anita has over 30 years’ experience teaching art and process to adults and professional groups, covering major institutions in the UK and abroad.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.