The African Art in Venice Forum (AAVF) is a public and free discursive event presented every other year in Venice, Italy during the opening week of the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte di Venezia. The project provides a new platform to present and discuss topics related to contemporary art from Africa and its diasporas in the cultural, professional, and infrastructural context of the Venice Biennale.

As art professionals from around the world gather to attend the Venice Biennale, many countries are made invisible by the lack of national pavilions and projects transversally representing regional, cultural, or historical components stemming from the African continent.

AAVF was born in 2017 with the aim of bringing together in Venice a multiplicity of voices of the contemporary African art ecosystem, presenting their creative message, and opening a broader cultural dialogue during the Biennale’s opening week.

During the AAVF first edition, 75 speakers from 5 different continents contributed with their knowledge, experience and thought-provoking ideas to the creation of a rich process of information-sharing. Over 1,000 art professionals, art lovers and researchers gathered around the free, open and inclusive platform of the African Art in Venice Forum, demonstrating the need for this open and accessible platform to expand the dialogue around contemporary African art.

AVVF advocates for a broader spectrum of creative practices and cultural dialogues, and for a more diverse, inclusive, and balanced art ecosystem that nourishes the ability to address individual, societal and global issues of our time.

A fundamental resolution of AAVF is to pursue its mission exclusively through the development of platforms for exchange and conversation. We do not engage in the production of exhibition projects in Venice or elsewhere.

The African Art in Venice Forum is produced by African Art Dialogues, a non-for-profit organization registered in Italy whose members serve on a pro-bono basis.

Please note that the African Art in Venice Forum is a newly founded initiative, presented for the first time in 2017. It is not the Forum for African Arts, a project first presented in 1999, of which we greatly admire the vision, impact, and legacy.

2019 African Art in Venice Forum Team

Theodore Bowen

Giulia Chamois

Ilaria Conti

Astrid Gebhardt

Attilio Meoli

Vincenza Petelin

Alexandra Topalsky

Neri Torcello

Shona van den Merwe

Georgiana Ward-Booth

Leopoldo Zampiccoli

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