Stories We Should Tell

A wall in Gund Hall with the title “Stories We Should Tell: space, body and spirituality” and a variety of colorful portraits of people and landscapes.

“Ubuntu = I am because you are.”
– South African Proverb

Do you remember the stories from your childhood? The ones about the people who came before you and paved your way. Stories from a time and place deeply etched in your memory or your ancestral past. We live in a present that sometimes fails to acknowledge the wealth of history and culture that birthed us. How do we preserve these fragments of memory and let them inspire new forms of expression in our work and our lives, to heal and connect us, so we can fully embrace the spirit of “Ubuntu”?

The selected pieces in this exhibition explore the themes of space, body, and spirituality in the work of 11 artists representing 7 African countries.

African countries are often left out of matters affecting us all in global design discourse and not perceived as major contributing partners. This flawed system has led to voids of knowledge, insight, and exclusion from design curriculums, initiatives, and practice. So how can we bridge this immense gap between the African design community and that of the West?

Stories We Should Tell highlights the work and voices of designers, storytellers, educators, and creators who shed light on issues affecting the African continent and emphasize the beauty often overlooked.

Through various creative outlets such as photography, fashion, art, architecture, etc., the participating creatives share their “stories of self” in the environments/places they live, work, and come from.

We hope that by bringing more creators of color, specifically of African descent, into spaces at the GSD, we can promote discussions about “othered” perspectives in the design industry and introduce students, faculty, and staff to new vocabulary and design thinking methodologies.

Sumayyah Raji MArch ’23 and Africa GSD, sponsored by the GSD Racial Equity Fund



Huda Tayob
Tsoku Maela
Amna El Hassan
Menna Agha + Billy Guarino
Ng’endo Mukii
Hana Yilma Godine
Ekwa Msangi
Kelechi Nwaneri
Jim Chuchu
Thandiwe Muriu
Wami Aluko

Lead Curator/Concept Direction: Sumayyah Raji
Co-curator: Dora Mugerwa
Design Contributor: Tobi Fagbule
AfricaGSD Logo + Branding: Rania Karamallah
AfricaGSD Planning Team: Miguel Lantigua Inoa, Olufemi Olamijulo

Sponsored by GSD Racial Equity and Antiracism (REA) Fund

Special thanks to Esther Weathers and Alice Swan for believing in our concept, Dan Borelli, David Zimmerman, GSD Exhibition team for bringing it to life, and to all the artists for letting us share their work.