What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that iAfrica is a simple app designed to accompany an art exhibit in Minneapolis. It includes pictures and informational captions for 28 pieces of art from various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. A few of the art pieces have abstract, partial nudity. Some captions discuss mature themes such as spiritual beliefs and colonialism. The app also includes a map showing the origins of the pieces and a picture of an instrument called a lamellophone that plays notes when you tap its keys. There is a link to provide feedback to the museum that asks for an email address and some personal demographic information.
Is it any good?
With 28 pictures of art pieces and captions, IAFRICA lets you visit a museum exhibit without leaving the house. The exhibit asks people to consider five aspects of the art objects and arranges them into corresponding categories: how the art objects were used in society (ethnographic); how they smell, sound, and feel (sensorial); how they fit into the history of African art (history); how the objects came to the museum (provenance), and what makes them beautiful (aesthetic).
Like many museums, though, the app is heavy on conveying information, with only one interactive feature (playing the lamellophone). In addition, this app was designed for people already visiting the iAfrica exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, so sometimes there are references to museum-only features. But the exhibit does make a good attempt to expand the ways people think about and interact with art from Africa, and the text does a good job explaining how issues like colonialism and tourism can complicate the production and collection of art.