Felwyn Sarr

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Professor Sarr is widely known for his outstanding work on the restitution of African artefacts. In 2017, in tandem with Benedicte Savoy, he was commissioned to produce a report by the French President Emmanuel Macron to produce a report on this matter. Published on November 21, 2018, their report On the Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics has radically changed the terms of the debate on African art in the contemporary world. His manifesto and philosophical work Afrotopia, published in 2016 and translated into numerous languages, discusses how Africa’s fate has long been determined from the outside and is a call for the continent to move forward in a new way, locating itself at the centre rather than the margins. The work is a critique of discourses of development, and highlights and advocates for a process of ‘self-comprehension’ (of knowing what Africa wants for itself). This does not imply a closing off to the rest of the world in a delimiting process of Africanisation – and it draws on all his capacities as philosopher, economist, writer, poet and musician.

Professor Sarr is the author of eleven books to date, numerous articles and book chapters and is a widely sought-after keynote and public speaker. He is the co-founder of Les Ateliers de la Pensée de Dakar, the premier platform for critical thought in the Francophone world. He teaches courses at graduate and undergraduate level on African Philosophy, Music History and Politics in Contemporary Senegal and Philosophy in Motion Corporeality, Gesture and Movement in Modern Thought, amongst others.

Felwine Sarr is the Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University in the United States. WISER will be his Southern African academic affiliation.