Abdessamad El Montassir Photo Courtesy of Abdessamad El Montassir

Abdessamad El Montassir

Born in 1989, Abdessamad lives and works between Boujdour and Rabat.
Abdessamad El Montassir a researcher and an artist who graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tétouan and from the École Normale Supérieure of Meknès.
His research work is based on a trilogy: the right to forgetfulness, fictional and visceral stories, and the trauma of anticipation.
He took part in several national and international exhibitions, among which Leave No Stone Unturned organised by Clelia Coussonnet at the Cube in Rabat, De liens et d’exils at La Villa Empain - Boghossian Foundation in Brussels, Invisible Organised by Alya Sebti for the 13th Biennial of Dakar and the IFA Gallery in Berlin, Al Amakine within the framework of the 11th Bamako Encounters, Saout Africa(s) for documenta 14 at the SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, Attokoussy at the Hinterland Gallery in Vienna and at the Cube in Rabat, and Home for the Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennial in Tirana.

Jackie Karuti Photo by Tõnis Saadoja

Jackie Karuti

Jackie Karuti is an artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her practice is largely experimental and employs the use of new media through drawings, video, installations and performance art. Her work is founded on ideas around knowledge production & accessibility as well as the depths of possibility enabled by radical imagination. Karuti is an alumnus of Àsìko, a roaming Pan African art school established by the late Bisi Silva, designed to redress the frequently outdated or non-existent artistic and curatorial curricula at tertiary institutions across Africa. Karuti's work has been exhibited widely most recently in 2019 at The Lofoten International Art Festival in Svolvær, Norway as well as in 2018 at the Dak'Art Biennial in Dakar, Senegal. Other projects that respond to her practice include programming the Out- Film Festival in Nairobi 2016-2018 and her online workspace, I've been working on some MAGIC.

Misheck Masamvu Photo Courtesy of Misheck Masamvu

Misheck Masamvu

Part of Zimbabwe’s ‘born-free generation’, Misheck Masamvu (b. 1980 in Penhalonga, Zimbabwe) explores and comments on the socio-political setting of post-independence Zimbabwe, and draws attention to the impact of economic policies that sustain political mayhem. Masamvu raises questions and ideas around the state of ‘being’ and the preservation of dignity. His practice encompasses drawing, painting and sculpture.
Misheck Masamvu studied at Atelier Delta and Kunste Akademie in Munich, where he initially specialised in the realist style, and later developed a more avant-garde expressionist mode of representation with dramatic and graphic brushstrokes. His work deliberately uses this expressionist depiction, in conjunction with controversial subject matter, to push his audience to levels of visceral discomfort with the purpose of accurately capturing the plight, political turmoil and concerns of his Zimbabwean subjects and their experiences. His works serve as a reminder that the artist is constantly socially-engaged and is tasked with being a voice to give shape and form to a humane sociological topography. Masamvu will be taking part in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney in 2020.

Michael Soi Photo Courtesy of Michael Soi

Michael Soi

Michael W. Soi (1972) is a Kenyan artist who has been working in Nairobi since 1995 after completion of his fine art and art history studies. Soi is inspired by contemporary life in Nairobi. His work provides a photographic diary of Nairobi and is a satirical commentary of social, economic and political trends. His work explores relationships - intergenerational, interracial or generally what he calls the economics of love, commercial sex work and popular culture within the context of globalization & consumerism.

Kitso Lelliott Photo Courtesy of Kitso Lelliott

Kitso Lelliott

Kitso Lynn Lelliott’s practice moves between video installation, film and writing. She is preoccupied with enunciations from spaces beyond epistemic power and the crisis such epistemically disobedient articulations cause to hegemony. Her work interrogates the ‘real’ as it is shaped through contesting epistemologies, their narratives and the form these took over the Atlantic during the formative episode that shaped the modern age. Her work is an enactment of enunciating from elision and between historically subjugated subjectivities, privileging South-South relations in relation to the epistemologically unmediated by the Global North. She was laureate of the Iwalewahaus art award in 2017 and was a featured guest artist at The Flaherty Seminar 2018. In 2019 Lelliott won the NIHSS award for best visual arts.

Sabelo Mlangeni Photo Courtesy of Sabelo Mlangeni

Sabelo Mlangeni

Working mainly in a black and white format, Sabelo Mlangeni’s photographs have focused on capturing the intimate, everyday moments of communities in contemporary South Africa. Born in 1980 in Driefontein near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga, Mlangeni moved to Johannesburg in 2001 where he joined the Market Photo Workshop, graduating in 2004. Since then, his work has been widely exhibited locally and internationally.

Ivy Brandie Chemutai Ng'ok Photo by Kiki Cheptoo Ng'ok

Ivy Brandie Chemutai Ng'ok

Born in 1989 in Nairobi, Kenya, Chemu Ng’ok now lives and practices in Nairobi. The recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Visual and Performing Arts of Africa Masters Bursary for 2016, Ng’ok completed her Masters degree in Fine Arts, Painting at Rhodes University. While practising full time, Ng’ok presented her graduate solo exhibition Social Revolution in 2014 and her Masters show, Riot in 2017 to much critical acclaim. Group exhibitions include Speaking back at the Goodman Gallery (2015), Johannesburg, LUSH, Smac Gallery (2015), Stellenbosch, South Africa, Surface Tension at the GUS Gallery(2016), Stellenbosch, and later on My Kind of Protest at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery (2019). In 2017, she held a solo booth at the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2017, titled, Self Esteem for Girls. And, in 2018 Ng’ok showed a collection of five paintings at the New Museum Triennial; Songs for Sabotage in New York. Ng’ok recently attended the Fountainhead residency in Miami, USA in collaboration with the Africa Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi Photo by Akona Kenqu

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi was born in New York. As a child she moved to Harare and finally, Johannesburg. She is an artist who divides her time between studio, video, performance and navigating the field of art as social practice. Her work has been shown in various institutions such as the ifa Gallery in Berlin, the South London Gallery and Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rio de Janeiro, Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Nkosi obtained her BA from Harvard University and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Nkosi has recently received the fifteenth Tollman Award. She will have her first solo show in March 2020 with Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg.

Christopher Nelson Obuh Photo Courtesy of Christopher Nelson Obuh

Christopher Nelson Obuh

Born in Delta State, Nigeria in 1988, Christopher Nelson Obuh was first educated at the Lagos Photo Summer School in 2014 by Eva Maria Ocherbauer where he was introduced to photography, and later in 2016 at the Nlele Institute by artist and curator Uche Okpa Iroha. Christopher Nelson has made Lagos his space and the shifting urban landscapes in the city have been his main focus in the last five years. He has been involved in group exhibitions in Lagos (Lagos Biennial 2017, Artx 2019, Live in Desire 2019), Salzburg (Fotohof 2018), Fez (Fez Gathering 2018) and several talks on visual arts, most recently at the Lagos Studies Association.

Immy Mali Photo Courtesy of Immy Mali

Anderu Immaculate Mali a.k.a Immy Mali

Immy from Arua (North), Uganda was born and raised in the East and central regions of the country. In 2013, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Fine Arts at Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine arts, Makerere University, Kampala. Using a variety of media including, text, video, sound, sculpture, installation, animation, her work attempts to unpack the complexities and entanglements of memory and existence in a neo/postcolonial Uganda. Notions of presence and absence, personal memories of childhood growing up in Uganda juxtaposed with current personal and collective experiences also influence her work.
Mali has participated in exhibitions, residencies and workshops in various counties including Kenya, India, Ethiopia, Denmark, Germany, USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, and Uganda. Her work has been published in art magazines including the Africa arts journal 2019. She recently concluded a two-year Residency program at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Syowia Kyambi Photo by Paul Kidero

Syowia Kyambi

Syowia Kyambi is based in Nairobi and of Kenyan and German origin. Her practice probes issues of race, perception and hierarchical systems, gender studies and body memory. Her work examines how the past is affecting our present, influencing the ideas of the future. She is an alumnus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed commissions for the Nairobi National Museum (2007) and the Kenyan Art Fair (2014). Kyambi has been the recipient of the CAD+SR research fellowship (2018-2020 cycle), the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2017) and the Art in Global Health grant from the Wellcome Trust Fund in the United Kingdom (2013). Her work has been shown in museums and art spaces which support ephemeral processes in Belgium, Finland, Kenya, Mali, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Zimbabwe, France, South Africa and the USA.

Aurelie Djiena Ymsa Photo Courtesy of Aurelie Djiena Ymsa

Aurelie Djiena Ymsa

Born in 1993 in Banka-Bafang in West-Cameroon, Aurélie Djiena lives and works between Douala and Nkongsamba. During her studies at the Institute of Fine Arts (IBA) of the University of Douala in Nkongsamba, she spent a lot of time in the workshops of Hervé Youmbi and Jean Jacques Kanté. She graduated in 2018 with a Master II in Plastic Arts. Since her university studies, she began to work with painting, installations, as well as photography and, sometimes, video art. Rooted in weaving techniques, her style is the result of her legacy and is close to basketwork (as practiced professionally by her parents). She tackles one main theme in most of her works, that of living together. Her painting is focused on the evocative power of colours. By repeating colours in the fashion of kinetic art, Aurélie pays tribute to Vasarely.

Va-Bene Elikem Kofi Fiatsi Photo by Adamu Yakini

Va-Bene Elikem Kofi Fiatsi

Born 1981 in Ho, Ghana, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT] works and lives in Kumasi. sHit is a multidisciplinary artist, founder and artistic director of perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR) which aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and thinkers. As a performance and installation artist, crazinisT investigates gender stereotypes, sexual stigma and their consequences for marginalized groups or individuals. With rituals and a gender-fluid persona, sHit employs sHits own body as a thought-provoking tool in performances, photography, video, and installations, ‘life-and-live-art’ confronting issues such as disenfranchisement, social justice, violence, objectification, and more.

Eva Diallo Photo Courtesy of Eva Diallo

Eva Diallo

Eva Diallo is a young Swiss-Senegalese photographer born in 1996. She graduated in photography in 2018 from the School of Applied Arts in Vevey, Switzerland. She currently lives in St-Louis in Senegal, where she spends her time working on personal projects and journalism. Her work is focused on current affairs and more particularly on migration from Africa to Europe. It is through her personal history that these themes began to distress her, and it is thanks to photography that she was able to express herself. She is currently making a photographic documentary through the eyes of her relatives, some of whom are in Senegal, but also by recounting the trajectory of those among her relatives who crossed the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better place.

 Rehema Chachage Photo Courtesy of Rehema Chachage

Rehema Chachage

Rehema Chachage (b. 1987, Dar es Salaam) is a visual artist based between Dar es Salaam and Vienna (where she is working towards her PhD in practice with the Academy of Fine Art Vienna). Her practice can be viewed as a performative archive which untraditionally collects stories, rituals and other oral traditions in different media; performance, photography, video, text as well as physical installations which trace hi/stories directly tied to women in the Swahili region; and which employ written texts, oral and aural stories, melodies, and relics from several re-enacted/performed rituals as source of research.

Patrick Bongoy Photo by Dillon Marsh

Patrick Bongoy

Patrick Bongoy was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He currently lives and works in Cape Town. Bongoy’s work speaks in response to the global reality of literal and figurative environmental pollution. This encompasses the entire spectrum from the erosion of economic viability for people, sociocultural decay impacting on community and individual behaviour and natural rural and urban landscape. He draws on the history of his roots in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the irony of contemporary urban degradation masked as development.

Akwasi Bediako Afrane Photo Courtesy of Akwasi Bediako Afrane

Akwasi Bediako Afrane

Akwasi Bediako Afrane (b. 1990) is a Ghanaian artist living and working in Kumasi, Ghana. His works explore the idea of augmentation and extensions between technological gadgets and humans. He works with discarded electronic gadgets which he refers to as “amputees”. He refashions and repurposes these amputees into machines and micro- organisms he describes as “TRONS”. These TRONS, become potential platforms and media for reflection, engagement and interactions. His TRONS, stripped bare of their familiar housing become mechanical gizmos subsumed with the consciousness of previous owners of these gadgets and himself.

Stacey Gillian Abe Photo by Guilio Molfese

Stacey Gillian Abe

Stacey Gillian Abe graduated with a BA Hons in Art and Industrial Design from Kyambogo University, Kampala in 2014. Abe’s concepts highlight specific complex situations as autobiographical documentations drawn from earlier and continuous experiences and they attempt to critique stereotypical depictions of her as a black woman by drawing focus to the mind’s suppleness. Her work has shown at exhibitions, galleries, fairs and biennales, including; AtWork Kampala Chapter 03, Being Her(e) KAURU Contemporary 2017, Blachere Foundation, Johannesburg Art Gallery, This Is Not A White Cube (TINAWC) Luanda, Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018, 1:54 Fair New York 2018, AKAA Art Fair, Paris 2019, ARCO Lisboa 2019, LATITTUDES Art Fair, Johannesburg 2019, 4th Silk Road Festival, Xi’an China 2017, Addis Foto Fest 2019 and she is a participant of the forth coming Stellenbosch Triennale 2020.

Francois Knoetze Photo by Timothy Gabb

Francois Knoetze

Francois Knoetze was born in South Africa in 1989. He completed his BFA at Rhodes University, Makhanda in 2012. He works across sculpture, performance, video and installation, and is interested in the connections between social histories and material culture. As a storyteller and psychogeographer, his roaming costumed performances and videos pick at the socio-spatial force-fields that attempt to rigidly order the contaminated, folded, and entangled worlds of people and things.
His first major series, Cape Mongo (2013-2016) was created as part of his MFA degree (Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT) and has been exhibited extensively both locally and internationally (at La Triennale di Milano in 2019, Kunsthal KAdE in 2018, Wiener Festwochen in 2015, LagosPhoto Festival in 2015, Somerset House in 2015).

Oupa Sibeko Photo by David April

Oupa Sibeko

Oupa Sibeko is an interdisciplinary artist whose work move between theatrical, gallery, scholarly and other public contexts, overtly dealing with matter and politics of the body as a site of contested works. The body is treated as an object, an image that assimilates the spirit of the moment and adapts to the environment. A provocative mixture of social activism and slapstick, Sibeko plays on the theme of a forked tongue to address the attitudes and duplicitous talk of the government when it comes to issues affecting South Africa as well as toxic masculinity. Sibeko was awarded a Mail & Guardian top 200 and David Koloane award in 2019. He has taken part in group and solo shows in Namibia at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Wits TPO Gallery, Wits Art Museum, Room Gallery, Melville Art Project, Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, The Freezer Hostel and Theatre in Iceland and Art Room in Parkhurst.

© Goethe-Institut

Selection Committee

Nkule Mabaso is based in Cape Town. She currently works as curator at the Michaelis Galleries, at the University of Cape Town and is responsible for coordinating the exhibitions programme. Mabaso graduated with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Cape Town (2011) and received a Master’s in Curating at the Postgraduate Programme in Curating ZHdK, Zürich (2014). Her recent curatorial projects include curating the South African Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019 together with Dr. Nomusa Makhubu. In 2017 Mabaso collaborated with art historian, Manon Braat towards the realisation of the exhibition and publication “Tell Freedom: 15 South African Artists”. She has authored articles and reviews in OnCurating, Field and Third Text, and serves on the committee of the UCT Works of Art Collection and other cultural institutions. Mabaso works collaboratively and her research interests engage the South African and Afro-continental context. She has curated shows and organised public talks in Switzerland, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, and the Netherlands.

Serubiri Moses is a writer and curator, currently living in New York. Moses was on the curatorial team of the Berlin Biennale X. He completed his Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies (2017-2019) at Bard College. His interests include historical narration, African feminist theory, indigeneity, and iconography. The publishing of his research in a slim volume titled, “La Vida del Plátano” (Calypso Editions, 2016) focused on the green banana as a visual metaphor for politics and history in early 20th century Colombia. His more recent publications and conference talks include: Counter-Imaginaries: ‘Women Artists on the Move’, ‘Second to None’, and ‘Like a Virgin …’ Afterall 47 (2019); The Hiss and Steam of a Pot of Blood in Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology (2018) at Haus der Kulturen der Welt; Women on the Move (1985-2015): A Comparative Study (2017) at Para-Site International Conference in Hong Kong. Moses is an associate researcher in “African Art History and the Formation of Modern Aesthetic,” a long-term project founded by the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies.

Yves Jonathan Makongo Nsobley was born in Douala, Cameroon in 1984. He graduated in human geography at the University of Douala where he obtained a Master’s in Environment (2019). He is currently artistic assistant and project manager at the contemporary art centre Doual'art. Makongo has been at Doual'art since 2011 where he gained experience alongside Didier Schaub (1952-2014). He provides assistance in scenography and exhibition set-up, composition of neighbourhood monographs, questionnaire surveys, management and supplies and the follow-up of various projects. He has ensured the success of two editions of the public art festival SUD Salon Urbain de Douala triennial organised by Doual'art: SUD2013, Douala Métamorphoses, and SUD2017, The Place of Human Dimension. Makongo gained curatorial experience as an alumnus of Àsìkò Addis Ababa (2016) and Àsìkò Accra (2017).