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‘You Have the Right to Culture with a Capital C’: Africa’s Growing Collecting Class Shifts Focus to Home

With the world suddenly fascinated with African art, African artists are finding a new source of patronage right at home. Since 2015, several new international fairs have opened across the continent, such as Art X Lagos, Latitudes Art Fair in Johannesburg, Investec Cape Town Art Fair and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the Marrakech edition of which opens on 22 February. These fairs typically show contemporary African and African diaspora artists who enjoy some global buzz but whose works are not normally seen within Africa. Primary market sales through fairs and galleries are only a small part of the equation, though. Rising secondary market sales in these same cities reveal a shifting attitude among collectors, both private and institutional, as well as a growing desire to reclaim Africa’s contemporary cultural heritage as its own.