African art is rich and unique, spanning generations, cultures, and a multitude of storylines. Sadly, recent history has sought to obliterate it, pushing it to the periphery of our consciousness. Not many of us are familiar with African art and its rich, diverse roots.
There are some people, however, with a passion for bringing African storytelling back to life. One of them is Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o.
Lupita Nyong’O and Her Passion for Her Heritage
Lupita Nyong’o is a talented actress best known for her role in the hit movie Black Panther. While it’s easy to focus on the action and storyline of the movie, a deeper look reveals that it’s more than just that.
The movie is a celebration of the African heritage. From a cast that’s mainly black to intricate, elaborate costumes, it brings to life the variety and flavor of African art.
But creating a movie that showcases the culture isn’t always easy. Stereotyping costumes and traditions is a trap that’s hard to avoid, and it takes careful research and collaboration to portray art respectfully and accurately.
With her role in Black Panther, Lupita brought with her not only her stunning good looks and stellar performance but also her deep love and knowledge of African art and culture. Without her, the movie might not have been as accurate and steeped in the beauty of her heritage as it was.
One thing she loved about the movie is that it doesn’t focus on the struggle of being African. Instead, it shows it as triumphant and powerful. This is what the actress longs for — to showcase being black in a different, more positive, light.
But Lupita doesn’t rely only on movies to share her passion for her culture, art, and heritage. She also promotes them in their different forms, including folklore, literature, and visual art. To her, there’s something vibrant and moving in art from her part of the world. And it's her mission to share that with people across the globe.
The Stories We Share: Art from Different Cultures and Backgrounds
The world is a huge, diverse place. Everywhere we go, there are people who view life very differently from the way we do. There are cultures and stories that run in an opposite direction from ours, and experiences we will never get to understand fully.
That’s why art is so important. Through literature, paintings, and films, we get to peek into a rich world beyond our own. We get to take part in the struggles, triumphs, stories, and dreams of people who are so different from us, yet strangely, so much the same.
This is what makes people like Lupita so special. Her advocacy for her heritage gives us hope in a world that’s slowly leaning towards the effacing of cultures and the pressure for everyone to be the same. We only hope there will be more vibrant flames like this actress and art lover, more people who can carry the torch of culture preservation into the next generation.