Making Venice Count: strategies and actions from Africa for Africa

Participants will discuss the creative strategies and strategic actions that need to occur at the local level to ensure that participating with a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale creates a sustainable impact on the economy and infrastructure of the represented country and a strong relevance for its art sector.


Valerie Kabov, Editor at Large, Art Africa Magazine | Founder, First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe

Frank Kilbourn,  Executive Chairperson, Strauss & Co, South Africa

Janine Gaëlle Dieudji,  Exhibitions Director, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakech, Morocco

Moderated by Hannah O’Leary,  Director, Head of Modern & Contemporary African Art, Sothebys, London, UK

Image: Miriro Mwandiambira’s performance Try to adore me, no?, 2018, Harare. Copyright First Floor Gallery, Harare and the artist.

Focus Sudan: looking ahead

This session will discuss the recent and current developments of political and cultural activism through graphics arts and public engagement in the context of Sudan.


Khalid Wad Albaih, artist

Alaa Satir, artist

Presented with the generous support of Salah Elmur.

Image: courtesy of Ahmed Mahmoud.

Vocabulary of intermittents lights: Africa and the Caribbeans

Participants will discover how current artistic and curatorial projects are finding new ways to articulate the deep relationships between the African continent and the Caribbean region, fostering new forms of South-South creative collaborations.

“To open new roads,

let the breath of art trace

unexplored paths,

as climbers

struggling with new paths,

letting the experience of the time traveled so far

create wealth and

reverses predatory energies.”


Giscard Bouchotte, Curator, Haiti Pavilion 2019

Jenny Feal, artist, Cuba

Sara Alonso Gómez, Co-founder, Calle C | researcher and curator

Albertine Kopp, Head, Caribbean Art Initiative

Gabriele Salmi, Co-founder, Calle C

Presented in collaboration with Calle C and Caribbean Art Initiative.

Redesigning the missing links

What is the effect of the continuing supremacy of the Western art canon on the practice of contemporary African artists? How do contemporary African visual artists familiarise themselves with these issues and what steps do they take to navigate the resulting landscape? Are there examples of development of new canons for the African contemporary art ecosystem? 

The panel will present a developmental discussion between three actors from the art world who founded and implemented prominent art projects on the African continent.


Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director, African Artists’ Foundation | Founder and Director, Lagos Photo Festival, Lagos, Nigeria

Meriem Berrada, Head of Cultural Projects, Fondation Alliances, Casablanca, Morocco

In conversation with Salimata Diop, independent curator

Presented in collaboration with the Edmond the Rothschild Foundations.

Image: courtesy of Alun [be] Photography.

Art Publishing in Africa: Beyond the Digital Era⁣

Faced by high distribution costs and ever-changing logistical challenges, art publications are at risk of extinction worldwide. How does this strive for relevance and sustainability apply to publishing in Africa, and what are the possibilities and obstacles faced by the editors, publishers, and writers in the continent? Is the digital realm the solution to the international publishing crisis, and what role do the formats emerging from the continent have in such production and diffusion of knowledge?⁣


Will Furtado, Deputy Editor, Contemporary And (C&)⁣

Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Co-founder, Reading Zimbabwe⁣

Flurina Rothenberger, Founder, The Nice Magazine⁣

⁣Ntone Edjabe, Co-founder, Chimurenga⁣

In conversation with Anna-Alix Koffi, Founder, something we Africans got⁣

Presented in collaboration with something we Africans got⁣.

Image: courtesy of Reading Zimbabwe⁣.

Revue Noire (1991-2001) – the magazine of contemporary African art

Thirty years ago very few African artists or photographers were known on the international art scene. Revue Noire, the magazine of contemporary African art (1991-2001), radically changed that, giving much needed attention to contemporary creators from Africa and the Diaspora, simultaneously challenging the perceptions of the continent. Roundtable discussion with the original team.


N’Gone Fall, independent curator, art writer, and cultural consultant

Pascal Martin Saint Leon, architect | artistic director, Revue Noire

Simon Njami, writer, independent curator, art critic and essayist

Jean Loup Pivin, architect | director, Revue Noire

In conversation with Riason Naidoo, independent curator and writer

Presented in collaboration with Revue Noire.

Supported by: Institut Français,  Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS), Cité internationale des arts, Paris.

Image: Revue Noire #3. Back cover. Photo copyright: Estate of Rotimi Fani-Kayode – Autograph. ⁣

Funding the Future: How African philanthropy is shaping a new landscape for cultural discourse⁣⁣

Presenters will discuss how the development of non-profit organizations, philanthropic endeavors, and hybrid funding structures in many African countries is providing new space for aesthetic exploration, artistic experimentation and community engagement.⁣⁣


With: ⁣⁣

Teesa Bahana, Director, 32 Degrees East | Ugandan Arts Trust, Kampala, Uganda⁣⁣

Mamou Daffé, Chairperson, African Culture Fund (ACF), Bamako, Mali⁣⁣

Josh Ginsburg, Director, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa⁣⁣

Bruno Leitão, co-director, Hangar Center for Artistic Research | Head curator FAS, Lisbon, Portugal⁣⁣

In conversation with Damian Nixon, ArtTactic, editor of ‘Africa: Art and Philanthropy in 2019’⁣⁣


Presented in collaboration with ArtTactic⁣⁣.

Image: Street performance during KLA Art 2018 – a public art festival organised by 32 Degrees East in Kampala, Uganda. Credits: Mohammed Ali Kanch⁣⁣.

Biennials’ Ecologies in Contemporary African Art⁣

Biennials have become one of the most well-established systems to internationally present curatorial projects. Presenters will inspire a discussion about the relevance of such format within the artistic contexts of African countries, addressing both its possibilities, constraints, and local specificities.⁣

With: ⁣

Sara Alonso Gómez, Curator⁣, Yango Biennale de Kinshasa 2020 | researcher

Sandrine Colard-De Bock, Curator, Lubumbashi Biennale 2019⁣

Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director, The Showroom, London, UK

Christine Eyene, Curator, Casablanca Biennale 2020

Moderated by Skinder Hundal, Director, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK

Presented in collaboration with New Art Exchange.

Image: Courtesy of the Lubumbashi Biennial.



Prof. Sir. Zanele Muholi, visual activist and photographer

Image: Courtesy of Lebo Mashifane.