Past Images, Contemporary Practices

Leïla Baracchini and Julien Monney

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art

ISBN: 9780190607357
Published online March 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190607364 | DOI:
Past Images, Contemporary Practices

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  • African Archaeology
  • History of Art
  • Race and Ethnicity


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The emergence in the early 1990s of two contemporary San art projects in Botswana and South Africa has immediately been related to San rock art. Researchers have since that deconstructed this vision showing that that there is no connection between rock art and contemporary paintings and engravings. However as ‘synchronous’ forms of the current experiences of contemporary San art scene’s actors, the presence of rock art images is not without effect on it. Focusing on the Kuru Art Project (Ghanzi District, Botswana), this chapter explores how the presence of rock art images may affect and re-orient current practices and how these images from the past are constantly redefined in contemporary San art. It shows how rock art have become part of the “experiential landscape” of the Kuru artists and analyses the ways these images from the past are invested and reused today as a resource for present practices.

Keywords: rock art imagery; San art; southern Africa; Kuru Art Project; Botswana; rock images; rock art; experiential landscape

Article.  11556 words. 

Subjects: African Archaeology ; History of Art ; Race and Ethnicity

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