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Margot Bowman’s real Africa

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

“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.