The Henrike Grohs Art Award
The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a roving biennial art prize conceived by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family in memory of the former Head of Goethe-Institut in Abidjan, Henrike Grohs.
The prize is run through an open call process and is aimed at young artists who live and work on the African continent. It is awarded biennially to an artist or arts collective practicing in the field of visual arts. The award aims to support emerging artists in their careers, responding to the challenges of practicing on the African continent. Artistic quality is the most important criteria for the award.
The main prize is awarded by an international jury after a shortlist is compiled by a selection committee. The winning individual artist or collective will receive a cash prize of 20.000€ and 10.000€ towards the production of a catalogue on the winner's work. Two artists or collectives will be selected as runners up and will be awarded a cash prize of 5.000€ each. Each iteration of the awards' ceremony is celebrated at a different biennale or major art event on the continent.
The Steering Committee of the Henrike Grohs Award includes the Grohs family, the Goethe-Institute, Raphael Chikukwa (Chief Curator, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare) and Simon Njami (independent curator, Paris).
Applications to the 2nd Henrike Grohs Art Award closed on 15 November 2019. Over 400 applications were received from 28 countries across the continent.
The selection committee, made up of Nkule Mabaso (Curator at Michaelis Galleries, South Africa), Yves Makongo (Project Manager at Doual'art, Cameroon) and Serubiri Moses (Independent Curator, Uganda) selected the following 20 artists for the shortlist:
Abdessamad El Montassir (Morocco)
Akwasi Bediako Afrane (Ghana)
Anderu Immaculate Mali a.k.a Immy Mali (Uganda)
Aurelie Djiena (Cameroon)
Christopher Nelson Obuh (Nigeria)
Eva Diallo (Senegal/Switzerland)
Francois Knoetze (South Africa)
Ivy Brandie Chemutai Ng'ok (Kenya)
Jackie Karuti (Kenya)
Kitso Lelliott (Botswana/South Africa)
Michael Soi (Kenya)
Misheck Masamvu (Zimbabwe)
Oupa Sibeko (South Africa)
Patrick Bongoy (DRC/South Africa)
Rehema Chachage (Tanzania)
Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa)
Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda)
Syowia Kyambi (Kenya)
Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (South Africa/USA)
Va-Bene Elikem Kofi Fiatsi (Ghana)
About Henrike Grohs
Henrike Grohs studied ethnology and was Head of the Goethe-Institut in Abidjan from 2013 – 2016. She co-founded the project Next - Intercultural Projects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Between 2002 and 2009, she worked as Project Manager in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s Education programme. In 2009, she was appointed Advisor on Culture and Development at the Goethe-Institut in South Africa. Henrike Grohs passed away in a terrorist attack in Côte d’Ivoire in March 2016 along with seventeen other people. She was 51 at the time.
The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. Its mandate is to promote the study of German abroad and to encourage international cultural exchange. Today it is represented in 98 countries and has some 3,300 employees. It contributes widely to the promotion of artists, ideas and works. Supporting the local cultural scenes and strengthening pan-African dialogue through the arts are part of its mission on the African continent, where it operates 19 institutes located in Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Lagos, Lomé, Luanda, Nairobi, Rabat, Tunis, Windhoek and Yaoundé, as well as three liaison offices in Algiers, Kinshasa and Ouagadougou and cultural associations in Antananarivo, Bamako, Cape Town, Harare, Kampala and Maputo.