Born in Oxford, England of Nigerian parents, Akinbode Akinbiyi has been a freelance photographer since 1977, a curator and writer based in Berlin. His primary photographic focus is large, sprawling megacities. Wandering and meandering the highways and byways in an attempt to understand and deeply engage with the modern metropolis. He walks and works primarily in and on the four major African cities Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa and Johannesburg, but also wanders in other major cities, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Bamako, to name some. European, North and South American cities are also serious destinations., so recently Sao Paulo and Chicago in 2019. Akinbiyi also works as a curator and has given photographic workshops internationally – in Germany, Nigeria, Sudan, Sweden, England, the United States, Greece. In 2017 he participated in the group show at La Villette, Paris and was one of the artists showing at Documenta 14, which took place in Athens and Kassel. He presented his work titled “Easy like Sunday Morning – North Lawndale” at the Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2019; presented a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, entitled “Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in the Taut Air” and participated in the FotoFest Biennial in Houston in 2020. Same year, he also exhibited at the Steirischer Herbst, Graz and the Västerås Konstmuseum in Sweden.
Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon), is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and the artistic director of sonsbeek20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Ndikung was the curator-at-large for Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany in 2017; a guest curator of the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal, in 2018; and the artistic director of the 12th Bamako Encounters photography biennial in Mali in 2019. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019 and was a guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He is currently a professor in the Spatial Strategies MA program at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin and is also a recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto in 2020.
Artistic Director of the Al Maaden Museum of Contemporary African Art (MACAAL) and Director of Cultural Projects at the Alliances Foundation, Meriem Berrada designs and implements the various artistic projects of Fondation Alliances since 2012. In 2013, she created, La Chambre Claire a photo contest dedicated to promoting African emerging photography and in 2014, the Passerelles program, a cross-sponsorship initiative that coordinates the cultural and social poles of Fondation Alliances through workshops designed to raise awareness on contemporary creation in peripheral urban areas. In 2016, she developed the project of the Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) in Marrakech, of which she is the artistic director. Committed to structuring the artistic ecosystem of the continent, in 2019 Meriem has developed the MACAAL Bootcamp, a training programme which combines sectoral skills and innovative modules around leadership and personal development, helping cultural operators working in the contemporary and visual art fields in Africa to strengthen their profiles. In 2020, Meriem has been selected in the 40 under 40 Apollo art magazine list of the most influential and talented people in the art world born or based in Africa and in the French ranking 100 Femmes de Culture. She is part of British Journal of photography 2021 OpenWalls and DABA PHOTO 6 juries. Meriem Berrada has led, in 2017, the fundraising for the Limidity Temporary Art Projects association which reunites three generations of Moroccan artists in order to sustain its artists’ residency; she was also member of the evaluation committee of Roberto Cimetta Fund as an expert in visual arts from 2015 to 2019
Tandazani Dhlakama is an assistant curator at Zeitz MOCAA. Prior joining Zeitz MOCAA, she worked at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Harare where she held various roles between 2011 and 2017. In 2017 she was the conference coordinator for the 2nd International Conference on African Cultures (ICAC 2017) which took place in Harare. She recently curated Witness: Afro Perspectives from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection at El Espacio 23 (2020), Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era (2018) and co-curated Nobukho Nqaba’s Izicwangciso Zezethu… (2019) at Zeitz MOCAA. In 2016 Dhlakama was curator at Tsoko Gallery, an independent art space in Harare, where she curated their inaugural exhibition Beyond the Body (2016) and was involved in the establishment of the space. She has contributed to the following publications, Plasticity of the Planet: On Environmental Challenge for Art and Its Institutions, Something We Africans Got, Africanah, The Herald Newspaper, Panorama, Jewel, Stitch and Artlife magazines. Dhlakama is a Beit Scholar. She holds an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Leeds, UK (2015) and a BA in Fine Art and Political Science, Magna Cum Laude from St. Lawrence University, USA (2011).
Liz Ikiriko is a Tkaronto/Toronto-based, Nigerian Canadian artist and curator. Her role as an educator, maker, and mother informs her practice, which focuses on African and diasporic narratives. Through collaboration and research, she supports and creates embodied experiences to facilitate moments of vulnerability and care for her communities. Her projects and curiosities engage, question and confront internalized systems of oppression. Ikiriko holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2019). Her work has been shown nationally, and is part of the permanent collection of the Dunlop Gallery. Her writing has appeared in Public Journal, MICE Magazine, C Magazine, Blackflash, and Akimbo. Ikiriko’s most recent curatorial projects include: Is Love a Synonym for Abolition? (Gallery 44, 2021), The Break, The Wake, The Hold, The Breath (Circuit Gallery/Prefix ICA, 2019), An Archive But Not An Atlas (Critical Distance Centre for Curators, 2019), and A Lineage of Transgression (ArtSpace Peterborough, 2019). She currently is the Curator of Collections and Contemporary Engagement at the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto.