Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji


  • Colonial legacy, Postcolonial art production, Reappraisal of the colonial past

  • Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Sammy Baloji, born in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a visual artist and photographer, as well as co-founder of Les Rencontres Picha, a photo and video festival that is held every two years in Lubumbashi.  Since 2005 his main focus has been remembering the past and the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His work consists of ongoing research into the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the Katanga region, as well as questioning the effects of Belgian colonisation. His videos and photo series show how identities are formed, transformed, perverted and invented.

Baloji participated in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie in Bamako in 2007, the Biennale de Lyon in 2015, the Venice Biennale in 2015, the Festival Photoquai in the Musée du quai Branly in 2015, the Dakar Biennale in 2016 and the 14th documenta in 2017. His works have been exhibited in the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, the Mu.ZEE art museum in Ostend, the Tate Modern in London, the Africa Center in New York, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC. He has received several awards, in particular from the Prince Claus Fund in the Netherlands, the Bamako Encounters Photography Biennial and the Dakar Biennale. He won the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative Award in 2014. From 2019 to 2020 he has been in receipt of a scholarship from Villa Medici in Rome.

Sammy Baloji at the Latitude Festival:

Resisting Extractivism

Contributions by Sammy Baloji