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Henrike Grohs Art Award 2020 for Jackie Karuti
Radical Imagination

Jackie Karuti
Jackie Karuti | Photo: Tõnis Saadoja

Jackie Karuti from Kenya is the recipient of the second Henrike Grohs Art Award, an award for African artists in the visual arts founded by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family. Akwasi Bediako Afrane (Ghana) and Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa) were selected as runners-up.

Jackie Karuti lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Her artistic practice is largely experimental and deals with the production of and access to knowledge as well as the endless possibilities of radical imagination. “Karuti’s work harbours a unique poetic dimension; her interest is focused on relevant explorations of technologies and perspectives. In her projects, Karuti examines death, sexuality, identity, knowledge and urban culture while making use of various narrative strategies and media, including videos, drawings and interactive performance,” wrote this year’s jury, consisting of Gabi Ngcobo (South Africa), Paula Nascimento (Angola) and Sarah Rifky (Egypt).

The promotion of a multicultural society in Africa

Representing the Grohs family, Florian Grohs noted, “The three award-winning artists underline the importance of art for the promotion of a multicultural society in Africa. Especially now, as the coronavirus pandemic is making it significantly more difficult for artists to perform and make a living, we are happy that the award supports up-and-coming African artists.”

Jackie Karuti: „Fossils“ Jackie Karuti: "Fossils" | Photo: James Muriuki

Johannes Ebert, Secretary-General of the Goethe-Institut, stated, “We see an art scene on the African continent that is dynamic, diverse and resilient. This is also what the Henrike Grohs Award stands for, which is very close to my heart. With Jackie Karuti, the jury found a more than worthy awardee.”

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