20 & 21 April 2022

Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal
Venice, Italy

AAVF 2022 panels will soon be available on our YouTube channel.



9:30 am

Opening remarks, towards intra-African Cooperation in the cultural sector


Skinder Hundal, Director, British Council Arts

Neri Torcello, Founder, African Art in Venice Forum and President, African Art Dialogues

Azza Satti, Co-founder, African Art Dialogues


10:00 am

From Restitution to Contemporary Creation⁣

The current debate on restitution is often focused on the transfer of objects and the infrastructure of repatriation. This panel brings together administrators, curators and artists to explore the creative and generative potential of object restitution and the impact of history on contemporary art. ⁣


Georges Adeagbo, Artist

Alicia Knock, Curator for Contemporary Art and Research, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Yassine Lassissi, Artistic and Commercial Director, Galerie Nationale du Benin

Coline Toumson-Venite, Head of the Mission of Culture and Arts of Benin’s Republic President

Moderated by Silvia Forni, Senior Curator of Global Africa, Royal Ontario Museum

Presented in collaboration with Kulturforum Sud-Nord with the support of the Presidency of the Republic of Benin, echoing the event-exhibition produced by the Presidency of the Republic of Benin at the Palais de la Marina, Cotonou "Art of Benin, from Restitution to Revelation: Royal Treasures and Contemporary Art of Benin"


12:00 pm

African NFTs: Artists Joining a Growing Market

The NFT space is evolving rapidly and reshuffling the way the traditional art market is operating. This panel will discuss the dynamics of digital art in the contemporary African art market, collecting trends, and the notion of community and geography.


Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director of African Artists' Foundation (AAF)

Renzo Martens, Artist

Raquel Van Haver, Artist

In conversation with Ijeoma Okoli, Finance and Regulatory Lawyer and Blockchain Enthusiast



2:00 pm

Right to Gaze: Meditations on the Imaginary Self

What is the ‘telling practice’ of a photograph? What is the liaison between the colonial history of photography as a vehicle towards the reclamation of a sense of individual or collective selfhood? The discussion will interrogate the role of the body and ancestral memories in re-creating individual and collective memories in the Diaspora whilst focusing on the dichotomy between reality and fiction through the practice of emerging contemporary artists.


Adaeze Ihebom, Photographer and Eesearcher

Eleonora Sabet, Portraitist and Documentary Author

Alia Romagnoli, Photographer and Visual Artist

In conversation with Mistura Allison and Himasha S. Weerappulige, Co-founders and Curators, ashiko

Presented in collaboration with ashiko⁣


4:00 pm

Focus Ethiopia

A conversation with contemporary Ethiopian artists on new practices, opportunities, and challenges of contemporary art in their home country. Every year African Art DIalogues brings a Focus on one African Country at the African Art in Venice Forum


Merikokeb Berhanu, Artist, Main Pavilion, curated by Cecilia Alemani

Tadesse Mesfin, Artist

Tariku Shiferaw, Artist

Tesfaye Urgessa, Artist

In conversation with Raphael Chikukwa, Executive Director, National Gallery of Zimbabwe



10:00 am

Let’s Get Closer: Building Art Alliances Across Africa

The conversation will shed light on the broad spectrum of artist-led initiatives that are generating a new network of support for contemporary creation and cross-national exchange across the African continent and beyond.


Roger Ballen, Artist and Founder, Inside Out Centre for the Arts, South Africa

Ibrahim Mahama, Artist and Founder, Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art - SCCA, Ghana

Moataz Nasreldin, Artist and Founder, Darb 1718, Egyptian Contemporary Art & Culture Center, Egypt

Karen Monica Reini, Curator, Lusaka Contemporary Art Center - LuCAC, Zambia

Belinda Holden, Director at Yinka Shonibare Foundation

In conversation with Heba Elkayal, Independent Curator and Researcher focusing on modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art

Presented in collaboration with Something We Africans Got


12:00 pm

Synthesising Synergy: Building Afro-centric solutions through intra-continental collaborations

The panel brings together Africa-based practitioners working at the institutional, educational, market, gallery, and artist levels and actively engaged in developing projects on the continent and looking to support other Africa-based stakeholders through open, creative, and synergistic partnerships, skill, and resource sharing.

With: ⁣

Maria Amelina, Director, East African Museum of Art Nairobi

Valerie Kabov, African Art Galleries Association

Robel Temesgen, Artist, educator

Sonia Lawson, Director of Palais de Lomé - Centre d'Art et de Culture

Moderated by Olivia Anani, Co-Director, of Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art at PIASA


Presented in collaboration with African Art Galleries Association - AAGA


2:00 pm

A Gen[d]erative Inquiry: Women Leading in the African Creative Sector

Four artists opening a dialogue, through their experiences and practices, on how women’s leadership is influencing the social field of African contemporary art. An intentional space to free, explore and co-hold the questions and relational dynamics shaping around this topic.

With: ⁣⁣

Ayana Jackson, Artist

Lebohang Kganye, Artist, South African Pavilion

Laetitia Ky, Artist, Ivory Coast Pavilion

Raquel Van Haver, Artist

In conversation with Georgiana Ward-Booth, Facilitator of awareness-based systems-change processes and co-founder at African Art Dialogues, and Janine Sytsma, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora, University of Arkansas, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Fellow

Presented in collaboration with Investec Cape Town Art Fair


3:15 pm

Screening of Muna Mussie’s Oblio

Oblio is video work drawn from a temporary “monument” and performance by Bologna-based artist, Muna Mussie in collaboration with the Associazione Donne Africa subsahariana e II Generazione. The work, designed for a public park in Torino, engages notions of fleeting refuge as well as active and passive dimensions of the removal of history. The screening is followed by a conversation between the artist and part of the work’s curatorial team.


Muna Mussie, Artist


3:45 pm

Black Italian Currency

This conversation between two Black cultural practitioners is intended as an introduction to the cultural context of Italy and the nature of producing events, exhibitions, and content that challenges the shallowness of preconceived perceptions of artists and scholars of African descent based in the country.


Adama Sanneh, Director, Moleskine Foundation

Justin Randolph Thompson, Artist and Co-founder, The Recovery Plan

Janine Gaëlle Dieudji, Co-founder of The Recovery Plan



Fragments of Interlaced Dialogues

The talk revolves around recent research by artist Sammy Baloji in relation to objects of the collection of the Uffizi Galleries engaging in a critical discussion about the construction of African art in the Italian context with a nod to the 1922 Venice Biennial which for the first time hosted an African art exhibit.


Sammy Baloji, Artist and Co-founder, Lubumbashi Biennial

Lucrezia Cippitelli, Curator and researcher

Eike Schmidt, Director, Uffizi Galleries

Moderated by Justin Randolph Thompson, Artist and Co-founder, The Recovery Plan

Presented in collaboration with The Recovery Plan



The African Art in Venice Forum is held at the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco 1332, 30124 Venezia (entrance from Calle Vallaresso).

The AAVF Foyer is in Sala Crozzola, while the AAVF Auditorium is in Sala Corte.

The staircase from the hall on the ground floor will bring you to the Foyer in Sala Crozzola. The African Art in Venice Team will welcome you there.

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