“Vibrant Practices: Masquerade in Southwestern Burkina Faso,” on exhibition in the Student Union Art Gallery through Saturday, Dec. 8, celebrates in brilliant photographs and videos the research of art historian Lisa Homann.
An assistant professor in the Department of Art & Art History, Homann specializes in West African masquerade practices from the late 19th century to the present. Her research concentrates on performance, innovation, Islam and Muslim identities, patronage and methodologies. She has been conducting research in Burkina Faso since 2006, most recently with the support of a Faculty Research Grant in spring 2018.
A member of the editorial board for the quarterly journal African Arts, Homann recently published in that journal and in Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, and this year, she delivered papers at conferences at UNC Charlotte, Yale University and the British Museum in London.
Her colorful, large-format photographs and videos of the lively masquerade practices in Burkina Faso are the products of patient and steadfast relationship-building within the region’s communities, allowing Homann to visually document the activities from their very midst. In addition to the current exhibition on campus, one such video is on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art, part of the museum’s permanent collection of African art.