Although contemporary African art has been on the rise in recent years, there remains an entire area that seems to escape the new narratives on Africa: digital art and illustration. Absent from art galleries and international fairs, illustrator / digital artists struggle to find their place in these classic markets where exclusivity – the uniqueness of the piece, remains one of the foremost barometers of valuation. The argument attributed a few years ago to the art of photography (uncontrolled printing and therefore doubt about the authenticity) which over the years has won over these markets, is the same here for these artist-illustrators.
On the other hand, artists have seized the opportunities provided by social networks to promote their art and sell directly. The use of new technologies offers endless possibilities for young artists who:
Do not have access to a dedicated workshop and storage.
Can acquire the production material of a plastic work which is often expensive.
Can diversity their sources of income- from fine art to publishing and from publishing to advertising. A new field is possible.
With one click can express a thought, a criticism, describe and/or analyze the current state of affairs.
At Little Africa Editions (publishing department of the Little Africa agency), we believe that these artists also have their place in the art market and contribute on their own scale to making it more accessible. This is why we are launching: UKUTA Lab.
The word “Ukuta” meaning “wall” in Swahili, Ukuta Lab is a wall space within the new concept store Little Africa Paris Village (Paris 18) exclusively dedicated to the presentation and promotion of emerging Afro-descendant illustrators. Every 6 months, Little Africa will renew its artist proposal, with limited edition capsules of new work.
This project complements a panel of projects that the Little Africa agency has developed over the past 5 years to promote and create more opportunities for Afro-descendant artists.
Ukuta Lab pursues the ambition of Little Africa Editions which rethinks African cultural, tangible and intangible heritage in a contemporary way and in plural forms. For a modern and unprecedented approach to African and diasporic stories for your home decor.
So, as part of the opening of its concept store “Little Africa Paris Village”, Little Africa Editions is calling for applications to welcome, present, and promote the work of Afro-descendant illustrator artists.
If you’ve always dreamed of presenting your designs at a point of sale, seeing your designs on the walls of hundreds of people, meeting your audience regularly, while continuing to sell your work online, then join the adventure!
Who we are
For the Little Africa Cultural Agency, it all started in Paris with the desire to show the other side of this city. Our story HERE.
In 2021, Little Africa expanded to create- Little Africa Paris Village.
This new permanent culture and retail site will be dedicated to the dialogue between cultures from the African world, to France and Europe with the support of its diasporas.
Located in La Goutte d´Or, one of the epicenters of the African diaspora in the 18th arrondissement.
The call for applications
For the opening of its new cultural place, art center and pan-African shop, the agency wishes to invite Afro-descendant illustrators to invest in the space and offer for sale their works on paper and different formats for a period of 6 months.
This call for applications aims to increase the audience for emerging creators, to popularize graphic art.