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Guy Says African Architecture Isn’t Showcased Compared To European And Asian, Posts Some Of Its Gorgeous Examples Pt.1

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Byzantine, Gothic, Baroque, Modernist… We are familiar with many different styles of ‘Western’ architecture because they are celebrated and rightly so. Ottoman-style mosques and the pagodas of East Asia are also instantly recognizable, as well as the temples of the pre-colonial civilizations that flourished in Central and South America.

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However, the Great Pyramids Of Giza aside, the glories of African architecture are often shamefully overlooked. Sadly, this is a symptom of a larger problem overall, where the rich diversity and culture of the African continent is largely glossed over in international media. Most reporting from the continent focuses only on issues that reinforce negative stereotypes – those of poverty, disease and war.

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There is much to appreciate about pre-colonial Africa – which is barely ever mentioned outside of history books. Up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs existed, and many advanced kingdoms and empires – such as the Asante Union, the Mossi Kingdom and the Zulu Kingdom – thrived before Europeans arrived with their guns, slavery and religion.

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A Twitter account called ‘Igbo Excellence’ (the Igbo people are an ethnic group from south and eastern Nigeria) decided that it was time to showcase some of the best African architecture, and his thread went viral as people appreciated these overlooked gems.

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Starting with Nubian – an ethnolinguistic group of Africans indigenous to present-day Sudan and southern Egypt believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilization, Igbo Excellence posted examples from different areas and eras of African history, reminding us of the long and varied histories of peoples all across this vast continent.

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The mud mosques of the Sahel, including the magnificent Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali, are particularly impressive. The entire community of Djenné takes an active role in the mosque’s maintenance via a unique annual festival. This includes music and food, but has the primary objective of repairing the damage inflicted on the mosque in the past year, which is mostly erosion caused by the annual rains and cracks caused by changes in temperature and humidity.

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 The Great Mosque of Djenné has incredible cultural significance not just for the town but for the country as a whole – it features on the coat of arms of Mali. I would love to visit it one day!

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Africa did not escape communist-era brutalism, with this monolith below dedicated to Angola’s first president Agostinho Neto towering over the skyline of the capital city, Luanda. It commemorates the president’s contribution to the overthrow of Portuguese colonial rule over Angola, which became a self-declared socialist state from its independence in 1975 until 1992. Angola’s current flag is said to be inspired by the Hammer and Sickle.

Other, more modern forms of Afro-futuristic architecture can be found in countries such as Ghana and Burkina Faso.

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Via boredpanda

READ MORE:

Guy Uses the Most Prominent Examples of the African Architecture to Showcase Its Glory Pt.2

Artist Kat O’Sullivan Transforms a Dull Shack Into a Psychedelic Rainbow House

Stunning Images Of The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World Restored In Their Prime

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