Art Chooses Us

Nominated for

Best Short Documentary

Directed by

Tomas Kamphuis

13' • Netherlands • 2021

English, French, Portuguese

Four African artists from four different countries practicing four different crafts contemplate on what it means to be an artist. Art Chooses Us poetically captures reflections on the African art scene through the eyes of four African artists. Most art from or about Africa highlights the sorrow and suffering of the continent and its people, thereby reinforcing the negative image generally depicted by mainstream news media. Though this image is certainly justified by Africa's harsh, daily realities and its problematic past, it also fixes the continent in an undeserved cliché of powerlessness and lack of agency and, consequently fails to tell the whole story of Africa, which just as much involves strength, optimism, and hope for the future, particularly among younger generations. The work of these four artists is fierce, stylish, beautiful, imaginative, poetic, sometimes even funny and entertaining, and at the same time strongly connected to their everyday reality with all its ups and downs, to their past and to their imagined future. Ultimately, Art Chooses Us is a documentary that shows artists who could shape an alternative narrative about Africa, more positive and uplifting than is generally told.