It has taken nearly a whole century to publish two books on African art that recognize the continent as a complex cultural unit within which there is diversity, A History of Art in Africa (Blackmun Visona, M et al, 2001) and Africa, The Art of a Continent (Phillips, T. 1995). Why it taken so long far North and East Africa past and present to be included in texts labeled African art? Why were they not recognized as African? India, also a place of diversity of race and ethnicity, has not similarly treated. The assumptions underlying the norms a representation of Africa were deeply rooted, their influence scholarship related to African art and culture was profound and, even if attenuated at present, persistent. They have impacted on the organization of information related to Africa, influencing from cataloging, the content of texts and videos, to museum layout exhibitions. Only by becoming conscious of the pervasive power of this "hidden curriculum" can we take steps to counter its influence. Those underlying assumptions are symptomatic of European fear5aJlII desires related to African identity.


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