Who are we if not for the places that shape who we become? How are we impacted by our environments, carrying and integrating pieces of the places we’ve lived with the realities of where we live now? Those are the questions States of Becoming encourages us to consider.

The exhibition produced by Independent Curators International is currently on view at The Africa Center in New York City until April 2.

States of Becoming, curated by Ethiopian artist Fitsum Shebeshe, interrogates the ways in which individuals of African descent absorb the cultural genealogies, expectations, and assumptions of our geographies as we voluntarily or involuntarily move throughout the world. The exhibition features the works of 17 artists with cultural roots in Sudan, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mauritania, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Kenya, who have planted physical roots in the United States over the past 30 years.

With cultural contexts that can be both familiar and unfamiliar at times to people of African descent in the Americas, States of Becoming offers an opportunity to contemplate the relationships they form with their environments and how they connect with the unique elements of and experiences within the African Diaspora in the United States and the Caribbean. Through creative expression and various mediums, each artist shares how they have found, created, or imagined a sense of belonging in the communities of which they have become a part and how these interactions have transformed their artistic practices and their lives.

Artists include Gabriel C. Amadi-Emina, Kearra Amaya Gopee, Kibrom Araya, Nadia Ayari, Vamba Bility, Elshafei Dafalla, Masimba Hwati, Chido Johnson, Miatta Kawinzi, Dora King, Helina Metaferia, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Yvonne Osei, Kern Samuel, Amare Selfu, Tariku Shiferaw, and Yacine Tilala Fall.

Admission to States of Becoming is “pay what you wish.”

To reserve tickets and learn more, visit theafricacenter.org.

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States of Becoming is a traveling exhibition curated by Fitsum Shebeshe and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. Lead funding is provided by the Hartfield Foundation as part of an initiative to support ICI’s commitment to new curatorial voices who will shape the future of the field, and ICI’s Curatorial Intensive alumni as they move through the stages of their careers. States of Becoming is made possible with the generous support of ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. Crozier Fine Arts is the Preferred Art Logistics Partner. The presentation at The Africa Center is made possible with support generously provided by The Africa Center’s Board of Trustees and patrons.