Margot Bowman’s real Africa

Young Africa on their mobiles in artist Margot Bowman’s new exhibition

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“To be interested in human beings in 2013, you can’t not be interested in technology as well because it’s become so heavily personified and obviously it’s a huge part of our world,” says London-based artist and designer Margot Bowman. In response to what she feels is a “really narcissistic overtone” to the internet, she has a developed a new interactive exhibition called See-Saw that embraces technology to explore narcissism’s opposite: empathy. 

“The project basically aims to promote that feeling: being aware of a certain kind of human and universal magic that everybody can relate to. Obviously this is something that culture has looked at for its entire history but I think that with our generation it’s really important to use the digital tools that normally lead to narcissistic tendencies and flip them to look at this,” she explains.

See-Saw was created in collaboration with the young stars of Diesel+Edun’s Studio Africa project: “I asked everyone from Studio Africa to make a video on their mobile phone at a place where they felt real and magic meet in their world. They made these really intimate videos and what was really nice about them was that - my dad’s South African, I’ve been there and know there are no tigers in the street - but I think that you’re always sold such a mythologised version of Africa. Whether it’s safari or poverty, it’s always really over the top. I just wanted to do something that was “this is me and my mobile phone and this is this place, just normal” but acknowledging that there’s a magical beauty in normal because it runs through everything.”

Margot Bowman’s See-Saw exhibition will run from 7th-15th March at Diesel Village on Regent Street in London. To win a ticket to the exclusive launch party on Thursday 7th March, tweet us @DazedMagazine why you should win using the hashtag #dazedstudioafrica. The deadline is Wednesday 6th March at midday.

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