List of artists:
Born January 12, 1998 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, historian by training, he studied at the University of Yaoundé. Ange Judicael Akomezoa is a self-taught artist passionate about drawing from a very young age, he specialized in the realization of works with ballpoint pen.
His realistic works are imbued with an iconography of personal and cultural references. Ange Akomezoa studies and explores African identities by taking into account different factors such as gender, socio-political status and religion.
Karo Akpokiere’s work focuses on fusing experiences and observations gotten from the minutiae of everyday living with his interests in the visual and written aspects of popular culture. His work straddles the line between fine art, graphic design and drawing; it can be political, social, humorous and anything else it wants to be.
Akpokiere’s work is marked by the embrace of a spontaneous and where necessary, a research-based approach. His work is an exercise in progress and self-discovery, always changing as new interests and attitudes are formed.
Akpokiere’s work has appeared in group exhibitions including IV Biennial of Montevideo (2019), “Political Affairs: Language is not Innocent”, Kunstverein Hamburg (2019), The 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil, Sao Paulo (2017), EX-Afrika, CCBB venues, Brasil (2017 -2018), International comic salon, Erlangen (2016), 56th Venice Biennale “All of the Worlds Futures” (2015) Making Africa, (2015). Solo exhibitions at the Griffelkunst, Hamburg (2017), Goethe Institut, Lagos (2011).
Born in 1981 in Dakar, Moustapha BADIANE is a Senegalese painter. Graduated in 2008 from the National School of Arts of Senegal, he is since then a professor of plastic arts and art history. He is also a lecturer in art history at the National School of Hotels and Tourism in Dakar, in graphic art at the Institut Supérieur d’Art Numérique sup ‘Imax (sup ‘info Dakar) and at the Université Virtuelle du Sénégal.
Since 2009, he has participated in several exhibitions as well as several artistic residencies in Senegal and Burkina Faso and works regularly with the IOM (International Organization for Migration) to propose exhibitions on the theme of migration.
His work focuses on environmental protection and illegal immigration. The concern is to safeguard “Mother Nature” in a symbolic approach showing the symbiotic relationship between man and nature. This approach allows him to highlight everyday scenes painted in a hybrid style from the point of view of form with an interweaving of humanoid, animal and plant structures. This awakens and arouses the duty to protect nature for a better world. He is also fascinated by illegal immigration and the scale of the associated humanitarian disaster. Finally, other themes are also exploited such as school education, still life, fantasy etc.
Born on 16 April 1992 in Kinshasa, DRC, where he lives and works, Hilaire Balu Kuyangiko, a contemporary Congolese artist, trained as a painter, graduated in plastic art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa in 2014. He collaborates with the structure Kin Art Studio (KAS) in Kinshasa and is co-founder of the group Vision Total (vi.to).
In 2016, Balu decided to learn how to sculpt wood by taking inspiration from ancestral African works. This experience allowed him to develop his own view of the transformation that Congolese society is undergoing. Through the new symbols of power, which he calls “new gods”, he questions the consumerist imaginary conveyed by globalization.
In his work, he is interested in the reappropriation and contextualization of the aesthetics and philosophy of the ancestral myths Kongo / Nkisi Mangaaka. At the crossroads of iconography, he refers, among other things, to the symbolic languages of contemporary power, popular culture and art history from elsewhere. In his paintings, sculptures and drawings, the Nkisi takes a prominent place as a timeless deity now erased by the “new gods” of consumerism. However, the hybrid images, which Balu proposes, act as symbolic or metaphorical forms of the identity process situated in the unequal cultural exchange between the African continent and the rest of the world.
His work has been presented in various exhibitions such as “Kinshasa 2050” at the French Institute in Kinshasa; “Congo Star” at the Museum of Graz, Austria in 2018; the group exhibition “Megalopolis, Voices from Kinshasa” at the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Germany; “Kinshasa Chronicles of the City” at the MIAM Museum in Sète, France; “Young Congo” at Kin ArtStudio in Kinshasa. His works have been acquired by private collections, the Wits Art Museum (WAM) in Johannesburg and the Leipzig Museum in Germany. In 2019, he presented his work during the exhibition “Congo as fiction” at the Rietberg Museum in Zurich, Switzerland.
Born in 1981 in Kinshasa (DRC), Steve Bandoma lives and works in his hometown. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, from which he graduated in 2004, Bandoma chose to go into exile in South Africa where he participated in numerous exhibitions. In 2009, he did a residency at the Cité Nationale des Arts in Paris. In 2011 he exhibits at Art Basel, Pointe Noire, London, and moves back to Kinshasa in 2012, where he exhibits at the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles and then at the Institut français.
With his mixed technique made of drawings, colour projections and collages, Bandoma composes an aesthetic of explosion – or rather implosion -, chaos and suffering, often against the backdrop of a clash of civilizations. Faces, limbs, body fragments, animated statuettes, fetishes, all blend together to give life to creations that appear unbridled and disjointed but are in fact thoughtful and carefully ordered – most of the time the works are produced in series.
Steve Bandoma was present in the exhibition “Beauty Congo – Congo Kitoko” at the Fondation Cartier (Paris, July 2015 to January 2016). His last solo exhibition, entitled “Possession” was held in 2017 in Kinshasa (Espace Texaf-Bilembo). He is currently preparing an online exhibition, in duet with Amani Bodo, to be held at the end of 2019.
Born in Ivory Coast in 1998, Marie-Pierre Eloukou Beyela is a self-taught artist from a very young age. Her passion for drawing is, for her, more than a simple drawing but an emotional liberation.
In 2015 she decided to share her creations on the Internet thanks to a Facebook page which allowed her a certain visibility. In 2017, she integrates an architectural training at the Institute of Applied Arts (LISAA) in Paris where she benefits from courses in drawing and scenography. In 2019, she proposes her first digital exhibition in Ivory Coast in the field of scenography entitled Vpagnes ( virtual pagnes ) ” give life to loincloths “, in which she combines new technology and tradition by immersing a projection room of loincloths.
Artist and interior designer designer soon to graduate, she plans to continue to develop her exhibition Vpagnes and she would like to set up an exhibition of her abstract and figurative works.
Maxwell Boadi is a Ghanaian painter who holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Ghanatta College of Arts and Design.
He uses knives as his main tool to explain and to define his interpretation of art, to him art is everything and everything is art as long as it exists.
In his paintings, Boadi attempts to attract the world and everything that defines it and wants to make room for the public to make its own interpretation of his works.
His work has been exhibited in Ghana and internationally in group and solo exhibitions, notably at the Alliance Française in 2006, the Ghana Museum in 2009, the World Bank in 2011, the Affordable Art Fair Dubai in 2015, the Sheremetev Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2016.
Born in 1985 in Dahmani, Tunisia, Nidhal Chamekh graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Tunis and the University of Sorbonne in Paris. He continues to work and live between the two cities. Nidhal’s creations reflect on the times we inhabit. His artwork is situated at the intersections of the biographic and the political, the lived and the historical, the event and the archive. From drawing to installations, and from photography to videos, Nidhal Chamekh’s oeuvres dissect the constitution of our contemporary identity.
His artwork has been exhibited at the Venice Biennial, the Aïchi Triennale, the Yinchuan Biennial, the Orleans architecture Biennial, the Dakar Biennial and has been shown in Tunis at Politics Collective exhibitions, in Paris at The Arab World Institute, The Drawing Now, in Italy at FM Contemporary Art Center, in London at Drawing Room, the Modern Oxford Museum, during 1:54 Art Fair and in Art Basel and the Hood Museum among others.
Born in 1992, Aziseh Emmanuel Chefor is an artist who graduated in painting from the Music’Art Eutherpe Academy and the Foumban Institute of Fine Arts (IBAF). Over the years, he has trained with many artists such as Germaine Bessohong, Fabrice Wamba, Pascal Kenfack, Idrissou Njoya, Ruth Colette Afane Belina, Olivier Timma and frequents the artist studios of Jean-Jacques Kante and Hervé Youmbi.
Through his realistic, colourful works and his marked faces, he seeks to touch the public and make them question the weight of injustice and violence omnipresent in the world around them. Specializing in drawing with multicoloured pens and acrylic paint, he uses various mediums to create his works, whether it is painting, drawing, photography or even decoration and digital arts.
Tuyisenge Chislon born in Rwanda in 1997 is a self-taught artist, a traditional dancer and a photographer. He graduated in Electronics and Telecommunication from APAPER Complex School. He draws his inspiration from nature, African traditional art and art from all around the globe.
At an early age he began sculpting small animals by using mud and wires and sketching using different pencils. He later on made a carrier out of drawing and joined galleries in Rwanda. Chislon is determined to create artworks which bring a positive impact to his society. Collaborating with local and international artists on different types of projects have shaped his ability to take on any sort of project. He is currently working on new projects which aim to save animals in his home country and around Africa.
Chislon works as a visual artist at the IvukaArtscenter in Rwanda, where he helps and teaches children in his village how to use Arts and Rwandan traditional dancing to express and to show their feelings and ideas in peaceful ways in the hope to positively impact their lives. He exhibits his paintings in different galleries in Rwanda Gallery such as the IvukaArtscenter, YayaArtgallery and RedrocksArt Conservation.
Kudzanai Chiurai aka Upkudzi was born in Zimbabwe in 1981), one year after Zimbabwe’s emergence from white-ruled Rhodesia. His early work has focused on the political, economic and social strife in his homeland however, his art practice spans a diverse range of media.
From large mixed media works and paintings that tackle some of the most pertinent issues facing Southern Africa such as xenophobia, displacement and black empowerment, Chiurai’s artworks confront viewers with the psychological and physical experience of inner-city environments of African metropolitans, seeing these spaces as the continent’s most cosmopolitan melting pots in which thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers who battle for survival alongside the never-ending swell of newly urbanized denizens. As an increasingly important figure in contemporary African art, Chiurai has expanded his art and activist practice to include photography and video.
Chiurai has held numerous solo exhibitions since 2003 and has participated in various local and international exhibitions, such as ‘Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography’ (2011) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and ‘Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now’ (2011) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Other notable exhibitions include ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited’ curated by Simon Njami at Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2014) and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah USA (2015), as well as ‘Art/Afrique, Le nouvel atelier’ (2017) at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and ‘Regarding the Ease of Others’ (2017) at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
His Conflict Resolution series was exhibited at dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) in Kassel and the film Iyeza was one of the few African films to be included in the New Frontier shorts programme at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Chiurai has held numerous solo exhibitions with Goodman Gallery and has edited four publications with contributions by leading African creatives.
At present, the artist lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Papa Djibril Diop Alias PAPIS Diop is a Senegalese teacher, visual artist, designer, graduate of the National School of Arts in Dakar and the Superior School of Art and Design in Valenciennes. He is a member of the Collectif d’artistes DU BENN. PAPIS Diop lives and works in Dakar.
His work, which deals with current issues, is animated by various themes: borders, limits, inequality. Starting from the premise that cultural, religious, national, regional and other differences, whose borders are only symbols, become sources of conflict between men and that borders, whatever their nature, fuel wars and racisms of all kinds; he tries to answer some questions through his work: is the abolition of borders a dream or a utopia? Are borders limits that serve to join two territories, two cultures, or to separate them?
He also questions inequality in developing countries, whether it be cases of slavery observed by NGOs or inequalities between the ruling classes and the people, in a continent where many consider that the best way to get rich is through politics.
Papis Diop likes to experiment with several techniques of expression, whether it be painting, often using cardboard as a support, sculpture or animated video.
Michel Ekeba was born in 1984 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts of Kinshasa in Visual Communication, he created the BACK DESIGN Label. It is in the field of contemporary art that Michel Ekeba is most realized through performances, films, texts, photos and installations that he develops with the collective KONGO ASTRONAUTS, which he initiated with the artist Eléonore Hellio.
Stimulated by the Hip Hop movement and the urban cultures of the world’s megacities at the end of the 1990s, he practices rap poetry. To free himself from the social violence he faces, he shares his flow in the street and gradually introduces visual elements which his urban performances are the result of. His best known series of performances is that of the “astronaut”. Often spontaneous appearances, they question the concept of exile and the dream of other worlds. The astronaut is one of the keys to the films of the artist Eléonore Hellio in the series “postcolonial dilemna” (2014-2019).
The astronaut is one of the main characters in the latest documentary film by director Renaud Barret “System K” (2019). He has inspired clips by international artists such as Bongwana Stars and Baloji, and has appeared in a clip by Youssoupha and other young up-and-coming artists such as Arno Perf.
His approach is above all part of a permanent creative process of interaction and collaboration. Michel Ekeba is a founding member of the “Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise” (CATPC) based in Lusanga in the Province of Kwilu/Bandundu, a project initiated by the Dutch artist Renzo Martens, founder of the “Institute for Human Activities” (IHA).
Ekeba is co-pilot of the collective Kongo Astronauts initiated in 2013 in Kinshasa, DRC. Kongo Astronauts crosses the vertigo of worlds. Michel Ekeba, embodies KA through an action that proceeds from modified states of consciousness, urban drift, telescoping. He makes space suits with old electronic circuits loaded with cobalt, copper and coltan, puts them into action, crossing the capital but also the forests, fields and villages of the country. Ekeba describes his outings in a cosmonaut’s suit as a real ordeal. Inside the costume, made of thick, heavy materials, it is dreadfully hot. Going out dressed like this in the intense heat of a tropical zone is exhausting and leads to dreams of exile. Some of his Afrofuturist performances are re-staged for photography or drawing. The photos are then the object of collages imagined by the collective, which enlarges KA’s fields of action by means of improbable connections. These baroque collages reflect the visions of Kongo Astronauts. “KA is a visual, sonic, textual and spatio-temporal experience. To the troubles and syncopations of the contemporary cyborg, the collective responds with performative actions and writings, attempts to resist the psychic ghettos born of the (post)colonial condition. It manifests itself in the interzones of digital globalization where past, future and present clash. Playing in the post-discipline, its cosmic apparitions and polysemic fictions question the conditions of production, creation and diffusion of works that are sometimes difficult to classify. »
ONGOING PROJECTS 2020
…. International Colloquium on Mobile Ecologies – Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris France
…. Film and photographic series in the framework of the “After Shengen” project DRC
…. Publication in the magazine MULTITUDES – Paris France
Michel Ekeba, Eléonore Hellio, Bebson Elemba, Céline Banza, Amourabinto Lukoji, Daniel Toya
2019 Lumumbashi Biennial – Lumumbashi DRC
2019 Heterotopic planetarium – Kaserne – Basel – Switzerland
2019 Supre:organism Exhibition – WAAG – Amsterdam Holland
2019 Kinshasa Chronicles – MIAM – Sète France
2019 Kinshasa system ! – B’ZZ for the French Development Agency – Paris France (??!)
2018 Traversantes – Le Tarmac – Paris France
2018 Kinshasa 2050, Women First! – French Institute – Kinshasa DRCongo
2018 MIDBO Festival – Bogota Colombia
2017 Karachi Biennial – Pakistan
2017 Kinshasa 2050: City of the Future? – French Institute – Kinshasa DRCongo
2017 Festival pour un temps sismique – Arts Hors-Format HEAR – Strasbourg France
2015 Arte en Orbita – Quito, Ecuador South America
2015 Pan African Space Station – Capetown South Africa
2013 Lowave Film Festival – Johannesburg South Africa
Michel Ekeba, Eléonore Hellio, Amourabinto Lukoji
2019 Ostcolonial excerpts Dilemna #Track4 in PAIN BENI by Ornella Mamba / Directed by Valentine Cohen – Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
2019 Short film ” After Shengen ” Max Mo films / Laboratoire NEO
2019 Feature film ” Systeme K ” by Renaud Barret
2018 Clip ” Niama Na Yo ” Polaroid Experience Album – YOUSSOUPHA
2018 Short film ” Zombies ” by BALOJI
2017 Repatriation of the White Cube IHA/CATPC – Lusanga DRCongo
2017 CFAO Inauguration – TEK Agency – Kinshasa DRC
2017 Photographic series by Belgian photographer Colin Delfosse (?)
2016 BALOJI Concert – JAZZKIF Festival – Kinshasa DRC
2015 Clip of “Capture” from the EP “64 Bits and Malachite” by BALOJI
2015 Short film “How to become Kongo Astronauts” by Borut Bučinel
2015 Biennale Yango (OFF) – Series of urban performances – Kinshasa, DRCongo
2015 Clip ” From Kinshasa to the moon ” BONGWANA STARS (?)
2014 Fligh Box Night Orange, Optimum Production – Kinshasa DRC
2013 Series of urban performances in the city of Kinshasa – DRC
Eléonore Hellio, Michel Ekeba, Bebson Elemba, Céline Banza
/Postcolonial Dilemna #Track1 (Redux)
/Postcolonial Dilemna #Track2
/Postcolonial Dilemna #Track3 (Unended)
Duration 6’31” – 2014
/Postcolonial Dilemna #Track0 (unedited)
Duration 7’30” – 2015
/Postcolonial Dilemna #Track4 (Stay tuned)
Duration 8’38” – 2017
/Postcolonial Dilemna #Track4 (Remix mix) within the multidimentionnal world of Bebson Elemba
Duration 14’08” – 2019
/La Predic(a)tion in collaboration with Céline Banza
Running time 21’51” – 2018
Originally from South West Cameroon, Elangwe Sesse holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Buea in Cameroon and studied drawing for six years in the D’jino’s Pencil program. Since 2007, he has been the winner of numerous competitions thanks to his drawings, including the UNESCO Patrimonito storyboard competition in 2012. His work has also been shown in numerous exhibitions, including “The Last Picture Show” in Paris in 2018.
Sesse draws his inspiration from his daily life and the society that surrounds him, his experiences, his adventures, his hopes and aspirations. Convinced since childhood that without conversations, the world would be immobile, he bases his recent series (conversations) on the inseparable relationship between human existence and the conversations and our desires that emerge from them. He uses acrylic and pigment on canvas to represent what he calls the “sesse” style, a combination of surrealist and cubist figures with inverted faces to transport the audience into another world of thought and reflection. He also seeks, through his work, to encourage exchanges around various issues surrounding him such as governance, corruption, development or cultural emancipation. He hopes that the conversations initiated by his work will lead to ideas that can put an end to immigration, wars and crises in his society.
Caroline Gueye is a French-Togolese-Senegalese visual artist whose work is influenced by science. Postgraduate in astrophysics (from Tulane University, NOLA, USA) and masters degree in atmospheric physics radioprotection and nuclear safety (from Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France), her work is a permanent quest to combine science with art. Her work includes installations, paintings, wall sculptures, tapestries and participatory performances. The physical themes that emerge in her work are extracted from research topics, such as string theory, the theory of everything, or the principles of quantum mechanics, particle physics and space-time. Straight lines, geometric figures, referentials, the four dimensions, are increasingly present in her works that teleport the spectator into space, breaking down the barriers of time, exploring parallel and future worlds. Caroline is presently doing a PhD in science and art.
Born on 3 May 1994, Jean D’amour Imanishimwe is a Rwandan visual artist. Graduate of the Nyundo School of Arts, he has worked with numerous galleries including, among others, the Kigali Arts Center, Huza Arts Rwanda and Inganzo Arts Center; and with CONTE Artist and Designer as Artistic Director. Since 2017, he is the co-founder of HUZA ARTS RWANDA gallery whose objective is to give a platform to young local artists to exhibit and sell their artworks. This is part of a more global objective to encourage and help those who share his vision and commitment and to help young people in particular to create by teaching them the arts, promoting values of peace and love and preserving African artistic heritage.
Gosette Lubondo is a Congolese photographer and visual artist based in Kinshasa. Graduate in visual communication at the Academy of Fine Arts Kinshasa, She has been inspired since a young age by the work of her father, photographer by profession. She quickly became interested and participated in seve- ral kinois collective workshops. In 2013 she works with photographer Bruno Budjelal. This in a workshop organized by the collective Eza possible in Kinshasa.
Her work deals with the theme of memory and the history of spaces, but also of people. She uses photography to create an intersection between the present and the past and is also an archive of the fu- ture, both in staging and self-portraiture.
Winner of the Photographic Residences of the Quai Branly Jacques Chirac Museum 2017 and Finalist of the Goethe Institut Masterclass, She has presented her work in several collective exhibitions such as: Seven Hills (Kampala Biennial) 2016; Heliotropism, Collection si particuliere, Arles 2017; Eblouissement (Biennale of Lubumbashi), National Museum of Lubumbashi 2017; Stories (African Business and Econo- mic Forum) Egypt 2017, Kinshasa Chronicle (International Museum of Modest Arts, France) 2018, Congo Stars, (Joanem Museum, Australia) 2018, Addis Foto Fest 2018.
Romario Lukau, known as “Rolook”, was born in Kinshasa in 1994. He is a graduate of the Institute of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa. Through his art, Rolook takes a critical look at today’s politics and media. A committed artist who wishes to encourage the influence of contemporary Congolese artists, he co-founded the Tokeyi collective – ” Let’s move forward “, in Lingala – which aims to promote art and culture in Kinshasa.
Drawing inspiration from current events, from various questions on global issues such as global warming, pollution or the environment, and using various mediums: painting, performance, installations and his body as a canva – in the manner of ancestral African techniques – Rolook seeks to encourage debate and reflection on societal and political issues.
Born in Kindu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Martin Lukongo is a photographer and designer based in Goma, North Kivu province. He currently divides his life between his country and others in East Africa including Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. Passionate about image in general, he has explored over the years photography, design, illustration, video, installation and performance.
Travelling between Goma, Bukavu and Lubumbashi, Lukongo has developed an approach to photography that captures ordinary life with enhanced graphic expression to reveal the hidden struggles and victories in everyday life. To ensure that he captures the realities of everyday life, he always keeps his camera close at hand. Through his work, he tries to give a voice to the voiceless and offer them an image of themselves to be proud of.
Family is a key theme in his work, which for him, is not only the origin of each human being but also the source of different emotions, the source of existence, joy, happiness, sadness, love etc. Lukongo is fascinated by all these facets of the family, which for him, are at the origin of his personality and that of so many other people around him.
He tries to represent or portray his story in most of his narratives which is a major source of inspiration to him. It is also a way for him to tell the outside world his story and that of his generation. Time is a very important element in his research, so he allows himself to document the history of his generation, of the past, and to try to make a projection of the future.
He has presented his work in several group exhibitions such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, International Film Festival CIFF Congo 2018; in 2017, Bosnia-Herzegovina, WARM Festival. In partnership with the Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC); in 2017, Colombia, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize World Summit, Bogotá, in partnership with the National Center for Historical Memory and In 2016, USA, Chica- go in partnership with the Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC), the WARM Foundation, the National Center for Historical Memory (Cen- tro Nacional de Memoria Histórica) and Yole! Africa.
Born in Kinshasa on October 17, 1992, Luvie Luyeye graduated in sculpture from the Kinshasa Institute of Fine Arts. In 2008, he attended the Atmosphere of Cave workshop of the artist John Bongenya Emeka, an experience that allowed him to develop his practice and discover new mediums. In 2010, he participates in the creation of the BOKUTANI ARTIST REUNIS collective, which brings together young artists from Kinshasa for the development and innovation in Congolese contemporary art. In 2016, he is one of the first artists to benefit from a two-month residency grant at the Bandjoun Station visual arts centre in Cameroon, organised by the association Les Amis de Bandjoun Station.
Mário Macilau is a multidisciplinary artist and activist, best known for his photographic work which he started in 2003. He was born in 1984 in Maputo and grew up, as do many children, working hard to help support his family in what were difficult circumstances within Mozambique. Over the years, his work came to a wide audience internationally, with him winning several major awards, travelling extensively seeing his work featured in some of the most prestigious galleries, art fairs and exhibitions globally.
His photographic practice highlights identity, political issues and environmental conditions, at times working with socially isolated groups to bring to his audience not only awareness of the many social injustices and inequalities in the world, but also scenes of humanity, brotherhood, victory, love and hope, often taking portraiture as a point of departure, his approach being a key to unlock a broader perspective.
For Macilau, photography has the power to reveal stark truths about life, to develop the social consciousness and perception of issues in Mozambique and elsewhere. His photographs reveal how particular environments affect individuals in their domestic and working lives, always seeking to establish a level of trust with his subjects to prevent the physical presence of his camera becoming a mental or emotional barrier to his subjects.
He has also been selected as a Jury Member in several international photographic competitions and over time, became aware of the impact that art can have on social consciousness and public opinion. This awareness has led him to build a studio in a township in Maputo, where he could expand his personal creative activities and also provide art education and outreach projects. This venture has now progressed to include an International Artist-in-Residence programme, encouraging collaboration between emerging international visual artists and the local community. He also regularly attends the Annual Photography Master Class in Africa organized by the Goethe Institute, Johannesburg.
In 2015, his first large format book was published by Kehrer Verla in Germany, with text contributions from Roger Ballen, Mia Couto, Simon Njami and Olivia Nitis, together with an interview by Gabriela Salgado. The book presents his longterm project with street children in Maputo, spending time with them in order to gain a deeper understanding of their reality by entering into their private spaces: bridges and abandoned buildings where they live and sleep, very dark, damp and dangerous places. Through focusing on the individuality of these children, he believes he has created personal encounters that make us consider the condition of these affected children not as a lifestyle choice but as one of the consequences of ongoing social changes and the transformations of our human values.
AWARDS, 2010 Young ACP Photographer’s Competition, 2011 EVTZ Foundation prize, Germany, 2011 Santa Lucia Award, Spain, 2011 AECID Award for creation, 2011 Talent Prize, French Embassy, Maputo, 2012 Visa Pour La Creation from the French Institute, 2012 First prize from the Protection Project in Washington DC, USA and he was invited to participate in a human rights program with the United Nations Office, World Press Photo, and the Universal Rights Group, (2016). Macilau was also chosen as one of the Foreign Policy’s ‘100 Leading Global Thinkers’ at a ceremony in Washington D.C. (2015).
Macilau’s work has been featured regularly in solo and group exhibitions in his home country and abroad such as the 1:54 Art Fair in London, UK (2018), Art Madrid in Madrid, Spain, (2018 and 2019), Art Marbella, Spain, (2018), Third Beijing Photo Biennale, Beijing, China, (2018), Unseen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, (2018), FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, South Africa, (2018), The Global Climate Summit, San Francisco, USA, (2018), The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, (2018), IPhoton Festival, Valéncia, Spain, (2017), Krakow Photomonth Festival, Krakow, Poland, (2017), the Indian Photography Festival-IPF, (2017), Hyderabad, India, (2017), Berlin Art Week at Kehrer Gallery, Berlin, Germany, (2017), Sicily Photobook Festival, Sicily, Italy, (2017), Porto Photo Fest, Proto, Portugal, (2017), “I don’t like Black People but I do like you”, Paulo Nunes Gallery, Portugal, (2017), Tbilisi Photo Festival, Tbilisi, Georgia, (2017), AKAA Art Fair, Paris, France, (2016), Macilau was also selected by Fotofestiwal in Łódź, Poland to present his first monograph ‘Growing in Darkness’ at a huge solo exhibition within the festival entitled ‘Discovery Show’ (2015). Other notable solo shows includes his participation at the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, (2015), ‘The Road Not Taken’ at The Auction Room, London, (2015), ‘Nada Como O Tempo’ curated by Berry Bickle at Kulungwana Gallery in Maputo (2015), ENTRY PROHIBITED TO FOREIGNERS, Havremagasinet – Boden Art Center, Sweden, 2015, the Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK,
(2014), Fotofest Biennial, Houston, Texas, USA, (2014) and many others. His work is held in many private and public collections worldwide.
His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines globally and in May 2013 he was featured on Al Jazeera’s Artscape programme.
Macilau is also an entrepreneur and human rights activist, and actively runs and contributes to several projects aimed at raising awareness around social issues, social inclusion and economic empowerment.
Through the sale of his artworks, Macilau has raised about 30 000 USD over the past few years for organizations such as Positive Planet, Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli, Gift of the Givers Foundation, Oxfam, and Independent Young Activists in Mozambique. As a motorcycle rider himself, Macilau is also a member of one of the largest motorcycle groups in Mozambique called MADODAS – whose primary interest as a group is to not only to ride together as a family, but to also participate and contribute to different communities by involvement in activities as well as by personal financial contributions.
Macilau is also founder of WALKING TOGETHER – WT, a non-governmental and not-for profit organization established in 2013. The organization aims to provide girls and woman access to education through making tools and resources available, and the ultimate goal of social stability and self-sustainability for the future.
Born in Kinshasa on October 10, 1992, the artist Catheris Mondombo graduated in Sculpture from the Institute of Fine Arts in Kinshasa. He lives and works in his hometown which, according to him, is the source of his artistic approach to both the form and substance of his work.
Mondombo says he is struck by the way in which the people around him and his environment are in a perpetual search for survival. In this society of resourcefulness, he sees a similarity with astronauts who go into space to explore other possibilities for life elsewhere, once the Earth is uninhabitable. In his work, he conceptually and plastically questions this parallelism through half-abstract, half-realistic images, sometimes in weightlessness, dressed in a spacesuit. To illustrate the malaise of his society struggling to survive, he uses used tarpaulins that he recovers, usually used by Kinshasa residents to build street stalls that abound in Kinshasa.
Bonfils Ngabonziza, born in 1989, is a Rwandan artist, specializing in public art paintings, portraits, children’s book illustrations and character design. He started drawing at an early age and over the years has actively produced and exhibited works for galleries and events throughout Kigali and internationally.
Since 2013, he has been creating community paintings throughout Rwanda in partnership with the local organization Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga. Between 2014 and 2015, Ngabonziza works on the educational series “Know Zone Rwanda” and successfully leads the design and development of many large-scale pieces. He has built up a portfolio of murals, including commissioned works in restaurants, schools and community centres. In parallel, he is developing his knowledge in the world of digital media such as 2D as a character designer and in stop motion short animation, graphic design, and more at the African Digital Media Academy (ADMA) from 2016 to 2019.
He has notably exhibited at the US Embassy in Rwanda at various events, in Khourigba, Morocco with ARKANE and in Casablanca, Morocco as part of the “Travel Weast” exhibition in 2017.
Ken Nwadiogbu born in 1994 in Lagos, Nigeria is a multidisciplinary artist popularly known as KenArt, graduate of a B.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is credited for beginning the ‘Contemporealism’ movement, a fusion that is primarily centered around Hyper-Realism and Contemporary art. Nwadiogbu creates innovative conceptual drawings on various surfaces, as he challenges and investigates Black socio-political structures and issues, while engaging in multidisciplinary modes of storytelling. Gender equality, African cultures, and Black power are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.
His interest in art, as well as his career began while he earned his degree, despite no formal training. Inspired by issues relating to his peers and those around him, he began creating works that reflect the everyday struggles of people like him, with the hopes of making a change in his community. A core focus for Nwadiogbu is to inspire and encourage young creatives. He does this through public speaking and mentorship, as well as through his creative companies; Artland Contemporary Limited and KINGS Management. He is also the co-founder of Artists Connect NG, the largest artist gathering in Nigeria, created to foster creativity, collaboration and community. Ken Nwadiogbu is constantly revitalizing his practice by challenging modes of Black representation. His oeuvre encompasses various forms of drawing using charcoal, collage, acrylic, and most recently photography. For him, art is a safe haven, devoid of restrictions, boxes and boundaries.
Nwadiogbu was recently named by Guardian Life as one of the most “Outstanding Personalities of 2019”. He was also awarded The Future Award Prize for Visual and Applied Arts in 2019. In the same year, he held his debut solo show Contemporealism, in Brick Lane Gallery, London. He has also participated in local and international group exhibitions and fairs including Insanity (2016), Lagos, Finding your Identity (2017), Abuja; Artyrama Art Exhibition (2017), Lagos; Art X (2018 & 2019), Lagos; Moniker Art Fair (2018 & 2019), Brooklyn and London; Empowerment Exhibition (2018), London; Afriuture (2018), Canada; Anti-Trump Art Show (2019), London; LAX-SFO (2019), California; In the Making (2019), Abuja; LAX-MSY (2019), Louisiana; LAX LHR (2019), London and so on.
Born in 1981 in Burkina Faso, Hyacinthe Ouattara is a mainly self-taught visual artist who lives and works in France. He has several experiences in workshops and has followed a training in live drawing.
Ouattara first pictorially represented the human body in a dreamlike, ghostly and childlike way before entering his entrails and focusing his work on the anatomy of cellular tissues through what he calls “human cartographies”.
Material, texture, colour and – occasionally – patchwork are of great importance in his pictorial work. His drawings are spontaneous, gestural and allow him to question the human being in all its complexity. His installations question the notions of balance and imbalance through suspension and memory. Since he focuses on textiles, he develops a reflection on the organic, the ambivalence between appearance and disappearance, intimacy as well as identity in the broadest sense. His sculptures in twisted and knotted textiles allow him to represent this obsession with the organic and to work on the notion of link.
His work has been exhibited in Paris, Berlin, Dakar, Ouagadougou, Accra, Luxembourg and Kargoorlie.
Adjaratou Ouedraogo, was born in 1981 in Lomé, Togo and lives and works in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She belongs to the small circle of women painters in Burkina Faso. Through a kind of mise en abyme, the artist explores her personal history, her cracks, her wounds dating back to childhood: thus telling a story within the story. The boundary between image and memory then creates moments of life carefully cut out, then almost religiously, arranged, in boxes, in the image of her childlike characters often appearing in biscornuous or extravagant, almost narrow positions.
Since the 2000’s, Adjaratou Ouedraogo has been developing her practice with several mediums including painting, drawing and sculpture, simultaneously using charcoal, acrylic or pastel. She also makes animated films with a first attempt in 2016; ‘Le Crayon’, a short film of 4’30 selected by the NAC at the Fespaco 2017 (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) and best animated film in 2016 at the AMAA – Africa Movie Academy Awards (Lagos, Nigeria).
Through this form of language that filigreely refers back to his childhood, the artist sublimates a deep wound directly linked to her mother’s absence. Her colourful universe, populated by childlike characters, opens up a multitude of perspectives and weaves, as a backdrop, a perpetual questioning of identity. The small theatre of intimacy, where colour often drives out sadness, which she creates with vivid and colourful touches, is now her personal mark. And because the artist attaches great importance to colour, matter, and the idea of freedom, her works are often an opportunity to express a corrosive art that dissolves all obstacles to this same freedom, stimulating our senses and creating a poetic link between our memory, our childhood and our experiences.
Her last personal exhibitions : Maison Rouge de Cotonou, Benin, (2018); “Les gens de la carrière”, Passage de Sète gallery (2017); “Ma force Tranquille”, villa Yiri Suma, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (2017); gallery of the Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence (2017); Abdoulaye Konaté gallery at the foundation of the Festival sur le Niger, Ségou (2016); Galerie Hannah, Namur, Belgium (2016); “Circumference of the Intimate”, Galerie de l’Oratoire, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France (2015) then at the Institut Français de N’djamena, Chad (2015); “Exodes”, gallery Une IMAGE, Saint Etienne, France (2014); Métamorphoses at the Goethe Institut Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (2013); Centre de Développement Humain (C.D.H.), Viareggio, Italy (2010).
Adjaratou Ouedraogo’s work has been presented at several fairs around the world in 2018 and 2019, including at AKAA (Paris) and 1:54 Contemporary Art from Africa (New York). She has also recently joined prestigious private collections in France, Italy and the United States.
Born on 5 February 1986 in Foumban, Cameroon, Jonas Sakouyou is an artist and teacher, with a professional master’s degree in visual arts from the Foumban Institute of Fine Arts (IBAF). In his work, he gives a second life to waste in the hope to raise collective awareness on the protection of different living environments.
Buhlebezwe Siwani was raised in Johannesburg and due to the nomadic nature of her upbringing she has also lived in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. She completed her BAFA(Hons) at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg in 2011 and her MFA at the Michealis School of Fine Arts in 2015.
Siwani works predominantly with performance and installations, she includes photographic stills and videos of some performances. She uses the videos and the stills as a stand in for her body which is physically absent from the space.
Born in 1992 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he lives and works, Cédrick Sungo is a visual artist with a degree in metal sculpture from the Institute of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa. Member of the collective Vision Total (VITO) which aims to promote contemporary artistic practices, he has participated since 2012 in several residencies and group exhibitions in Kinshasa and abroad.
Inspired by Sammy Baloji, his work is an ode to recovery and is representative of the Kinshasa art scene. He use iron, concrete, weaving, spinning art and metal (beaten copper) to create his works of art and to denounce the toxic relationship between mankind and its environment. His original creations challenge us on the ubuesque exploitation of Katanga, sacrificed on the altar of devastating consumption.
Torsu Andrews Yao known by the initials T.A.Y. was born in 1982 in Accra (Ghana). He graduated from a Higher National Diploma in Fine Art at the Takoradi Technical University in the Western region of Ghana in 2008.
He got himself into the art scene due to the inner passion and love he had toward art during his primary school years, where pupils were allowed to draw and colour anything of their choice to be pasted on the notice board.
Yao gets his inspiration from different sources : other artworks, his religion and his environment. He works in many styles and techniques using a variety of mediums such as acrylic paint, watercolour, pastel, charcoal, pen and ink. He has participated in numerous group exhibition in Ghana and Ivory Coast and he was a runner up for the prestigious Kuenyehia prize in 2017.
Arnold Tagne Fokam, born August 16, 1996 in Kumba, Cameroon is a visual artist who lives and works between Nkongsamba and Douala. He has a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Institute of Fine Arts of the University of Douala in Nkongsamba where he practices his passion for drawing. His artistic work revolves around the relationship between water and the body, through which he advocates for a more prestigious status for women in society and a change of perspective on Africa. His work has been the subject of several group exhibitions and is part of private collections in Congo, Cameroon, France and London, among others.
Nukwase Tembo is a Zambian artist who started drawing at the age of two. After completing her Secondary School education at Metropolitan School, she studied Social Work at The Ridgeway Campus of Lusaka before becoming a full-time artist in 2013.
Her work explores and challenges toxic societal norms that undermine the rights and values of women of colour. This reflection takes place in the context of post-colonial African nations, where many ideals borrowed from the West have been assimilated into African traditions and cultures in the face of the new norm. Culture – assumed to be fluid, dynamic and subject to change – is then treated as an inflexible norm.
The goal of her work is to normalize darkness; to establish what it really means to exist and to navigate the life of a black woman in Africa. Her work also focuses on the need to de-objectify women’s bodies where women of colour do not socially and culturally own their own bodies.
Her body of work manifests mainly in mixed media oil paintings and collages that have traces of fabric and used and/or ready to be discarded items like wrapping paper, old newspapers, cardboard and paper bags. The use of fabric symbolizes the foreign ideals that have been inculpated her rigid culture while the use of ready to be discarded elements represent the value, resilience and worth of women and of humanity as a collective, who exist as disposable entities at the hands of a system that was designed to devalue black women.
She has participated in the StART Foundation Trust ‘Upcoming Artists’ competition where she was one of the six selected winners. She is a Ngoma Award nominee for the Julia Malunga Award and was one of the top 100 finalists for the Barclays 2016 and 2017 L’atelier competition.
She has exhibited both locally and internationally, and also taken part in various international art workshops like the Thupelo International Artist’s workshop in Capetown, South Africa and the Tulipamwe International Artist’s workshop in Namibia and has also taken part in the ‘La Teinturerie’, a Pro Helvetia residency program in Madagascar.
Originally from the far north of Cameroon, Romeo Temwa is a visual artist born in 1993 in Bafoussam. A graduate of the Fine Arts Institute of Foumban, he later trained with artists such as Ruth Belinga, David Nkot or Herve Youmbi.
In his work, Temwa is interested in the different mechanisms of manipulation and control of opinion via the media. In the form of fragmented subjects, which make up the bulk of his creations, he represents the individual as a pawn on the social chessboard and seeks to question the impact of poorly relayed information.
He is the winner of various competitions, among others, best IBAF cartoonist, first prize CSC Cameroon . His works have been exhibited in group exhibitions: Impart Artist Fair (Nigeria) Douala Art Fair, French Institute of Cameroon, Balama, SUD (Douala Urban Salon), Espace Doual’art, Mam Gallery, Bandjoun Station 2016 Contemporary Art Centre. Etc…) and can be seen in collections in the United States, Senegal, France and Nigeria.
Géraldine TOBE MUTUMANDE was born on February 9, 1992 in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo where she lives and works. She graduated in painting from the Institute of Fine Arts in 2012. Since then, she created within the collective BOKUTANI (ARTISTES REUNIS).
Visual artist, sculptor and designer, FRIGG TOSS was born in 1997 in Cotonou where he lives and works. After a year of initiation to plastic arts at the INMAAC of the National University of Benin and three years of research in sculpture, photography, digital art and design, he decided to concentrate full time on creation.
Passionate about new technologies, he uses digital tools in the conception of his works around which the artist creates rather singular graphic universes. In a constantly evolving creative process, FRIGG TOSS’ work confronts academic rules and transcendent universes and seeks to create bridges between art and life.
2019 – MARQUES IDENTITAIRES (Re-edition), Atilebart Gallery – Cotonou, Benin
2019 – MARQUES IDENTITAIRES, Galerie Atilebart – Cotonou, Benin
2019 – FARA (Festival des Arts de la Rue d’Assouindé), Fondation La maison de l’artiste – Assinie, Côte d’Ivoire
2018 – “Visual artists and unknown universes”, Galerie de la Médiathèque des diasporas – Cotonou, Benin
November 2019 – Artistic Residency at the Foundation la Maison des artistes (FARA 2), Assinie, Côte d’Ivoire
Jules Uwitonze is a self-taught Rwandan artist born in 1983, he lives and works in Kigali. He started practicing art in primary school and became familiar over the years with contemporary art exhibited on the streets and in galleries.
Uwitonze draws his artistic inspiration from nature, the richness of cultures and the societal issues that surround him. Through his work, he seeks to raise awareness of the themes he addresses. His art also focuses on the theme of healing.
Lionel Yamadjako is a visual artist originally from Benin. He has trained in several workshops and collective residencies in Nigeria in particular and exhibits in Benin, in Africa and internationally.
If the themes he tackles are varied, he draws his inspiration from African culture and everyday life, while often referring to current events.
Through his creations and thanks to his work and his plastic research around the notion of identity, the artist gets to know himself. According to him, identity is the set of elements allowing to individualize someone and in psychology, it is the awareness of the persistence of the “I”. This concept not only contributes to the artist’s self-identification but also helps him to better understand the society in which he lives. At the origin of his works are his questions, his worries, his silence, his past and his present.
Yamadjako gives an identity to his ovoid characters, different not only by their size but also by their habits. They complement each other with their individual richness based on their hopes, passions, inadequacies and values, even though they are forced to live together and collaborate for the good of humanity, according to the universal law of union in difference.
He wants his works to speak and exchange with the public. In order to arouse maximum emotion, the artist encourages his public to touch his works.
Yamadjako operates in mixed-media with collage and installation works using acrylic paint and oil pastel.
Yéanzi was born 1988 in Katiola, Ivory Coast, he lives and works in Bingerville. He graduated in painting and photography from the Lycée d’Enseignement Artistique de Cocody and the National School of Fine Arts in Abidjan where he graduated at the top of his class in 2012.
Yéanzi adept of street-art has worked as a commissioned portrait painter for about ten years. Since 2013, he pursues a personal work using the plastic he melts. He thus modifies his relationship to the portrait, painting without paint the people around him in his daily life. In this approach, he collects the stories of each person, he uses their assumed name as a title, their remarkable identity, the mask they wear in society, to reveal their personality as a watermark.
Yéanzi has received several prizes and distinctions, including the first prize for painting at the cultural competition ”Cote d’Ivoire-Israel”, in 2008. He also received the honorary diploma of the Ivorian National Order of Merit in 2012. In 2013, he is the winner of the ”Grand Prize of Guy Nairay” and the ”Bene Hoane” prize in 2013, he also participated in the ”Jeux de la Francophonie” in Nice, France.
His work was presented in 2015 at the Galerie Cécile Fakhoury Abidjan during a solo exhibition entitled “Persona”, at the exhibition Abidjan “on dit quoi?”. Young talents in 2012 at the Rotonde des Arts and in 2014 at the collective exhibition “AAA (Abidjan Arts Actuels)” at the Donwahi Foundation in Abidjan and then at the Art prize the same year at the Jack Bell Gallery in London.
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury presented her works at the Dak’art biennial off in 2016 in the exhibition “a private collection”, at the platform of the art twenty one gallery in Lagos, Nigeria, at the 1:54 Contemporary African ArtFair 2014, 2015 and 2016 in London then at the 2016 Edition in New York and at Art Dubai in 2015.
In 2017 it is presented at the 5th edition of the Cape Town Art Fair in South Africa and makes its entrance the same year at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Mohammed 6 in Rabat, in the exhibition Africa in the Capital.
Alida Ymele Letchegie is a Cameroonian artist born in 1994 in West Cameroon who lives and works in Douala. She has a professional Master’s degree in Plastic Arts from the Institute of Fine Arts of the University of Douala.
Stricken by the death of her parents, she found refuge and serenity at a very young age in painting. In her work, she is interested in the notions of precariousness and fragility through the image of the migrant – domestic woman and highlights the difficulties of integration they face. To make these portraits, she draws inspiration from images found on the internet or from her own image.
She is the winner of two postal art prizes in Venezuela, including an honorary mention. She has participated in many group exhibitions including: “New Spirit 2019”, “Woman Power” 2018, “Iglecia luterrena”, Venezuela 2017, as well as “the Kai” at Annie Kadji Art Galery, 2019.