SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

North Korean artists and Africa

Dr Polly Savage, Dept of History of Art and Archaeology SOAS

Date: 27 February 2015Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 27 February 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

North Korean artists and Africa


Since the 1980s, North Korean artists have been commissioned to produce public monuments for at least fifteen African states.  Ranging from bronze statues, official residences and cultural centres to memorial sites, these monuments are being designed and built by the Mansudae Overseas Project (MOP), the export division of the DPRK’s official art studios, and have generated the state an estimated US$180 million since 2002.  This talk traces the history of these monuments, and explores the implications of visualising African state narratives through a North Korean lens.



Polly Savage’s research focuses on art and curatorial policy in Lusophone Africa during the Cold War period, with an emphasis on international solidarity networks. She is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, and editor of ‘Making Art in Africa 1960-2010’, published by Lund Humphries in November 2014.

Organiser: Charlotte Horlyck

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4704