Akinbode Akinbiyi was born in Oxford in 1946 and studied Literature and English in Nigeria, England and Germany. In the mid-1970s he began to photograph and moved to West Berlin where he has lived ever since. His focuses are reportage, architectural and cultural photography, aiming rapidly growing and changing African megacities. In 1993 he co-founded the UMZANSI Cultural Centre in Durban, South Africa. A few years ago, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Nigeria, he initiated a master class for young Nigerian photographers, from which the pan-African project “Centers of learning for photography in Africa” developed to network photography schools in sub-Saharan Africa. In numerous workshops, training sessions and master classes across the continent, notably in Sudan, but also in Ethiopia, South Africa and Congo, the mentor Akin Akinbiyi has been able to pass on his experience to young photographers.
His main exhibitions include Tales from a Globalizing World (2003-2007 in Brussels, Dhaka, Geneva, Cairo and other locations), Africa Remix (2004-2007 in Düsseldorf, London, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Johannesburg), Sea never dry (2005 at the Staatliche Museum für Völkerkunde in Dresden), Adama in Wonderland (2013-14 at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg) and Three Photographers/Six Cities (2016 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art). In addition to his artistic and curatorial activities, he is also active as a writer, writing the notes for his own exhibitions and co-authored Just Ask!, a publication about and for the contemporary African and international photography scene in 2014.