For two decades, Kobrenski studied music with master djembé players in Guinea, returning year after year to the historical homeland of the Mali Empire, carrying only a sketchbook and his curiosity. Living in a small village along the Niger River, he eventually turned his attention—and his art—to topics that concern us all: Why is culture important? What can we in the West learn from a village in West Africa? And why are so many cultures disappearing from the face of the Earth?
In Drawing on Culture, Kobrenski shares his artwork, stories, and insights about culture and worldviews with the keen eye of an anthropologist so that we might, in turn, see our own cultural worldview with new eyes.
More than thirty new artworks from his time in Guinea are compiled here alongside his own field notes and essays. His portrait drawings inspire conversations about diversity, tradition, and why ancient ways of knowing are now more relevant than ever.
Both a visually rich travelogue and insightful ethnography, Drawing on Culture invites us to listen to our planet’s oldest cultures so that we might come to understand how to regain ecological balance on a planet spinning out of control with human activity.