The question of water crosses all African cultures—water as the critical factor for a happy life (life-water) or water mastered as a source of malediction (death-water). The aquatic nature of such a civilization appears then as the foundation of shapes and contents of African artistic expression. An analysis of various forms of creation shows that, without a lucid understanding of the power of water in the constitution of Africa's identity, it is impossible to interpret correctly African art from yesterday to tomorrow.

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Author notes

Iba Ndiaye Diadji is professor of aesthetics at the university Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal. He is an art critic, the author of several works on African art, and a specialist in new technology in contemporary artistic creation.