ANA Spotlight

BISO BIENNALE 2023: Burkina Faso Welcomes Sculptors from Different Parts of the Continent

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Founded by photographer Nyaba Léon Ouédraogo and dealer Christophe Person in 2018, the 3rd Biennale Internationale de Sculpture de Ouagadougou (BISO) is a celebration of contemporary crafts and art. The Biso Bienniale is an amazing showcase of sculptures that define what it means to be African. This year’s theme, “Congolese author Emmanuel Dongala’s nol spires the Fire of Origins. The showcase delves into questions of Africanness, Afrodescendence, the Black Atlantic, and the Global South. The BISO Biennale will run till the 4th of November, showcasing true African artistry and craftsmanship. Featuring diverse artists from the continent, The BISO Biennale is truly an exceptional art fair.

Doni Doni,2023-Abou Traore, BurkinaFaso Bronze sculpture. 16x16cm

Curated by Louise Thurin, the art fair delves into complex definitions of Africanness and blackness. Using the novel as a guide, the exhibition captures the spirit of resistance against colonial rule using art. The Biennale acknowledges sculpture as a profound expression of Africa’s artistic heritage. It furthermore establishes it as the regenerative fire of art on the continent. The biennale pays homage to Burkina Faso’s metallurgical tradition as it embodies the essence of the exhibition. The selected artists from different parts of the continent further enrich the cultural tapestry of BISO 2023.

The artists participating in BISO 2023 include talents like Rachel Marsil from France/Senegal, Boukaré Bonkoungou from Burkina Faso, Evans Mbugua, Kenya, and Steeve Bauras from Martinique, France, among others. Their creations breathe life into the theme of origins and cultural interconnectedness.

The Bienniale further features eminent personalities such as Abdoulaye Konaté from Mali, Barthélémy Toguo from Cameroon, and Gauz from Ivory Coast as the juries. The BISO Biennale will take place at FESPACO headquarters in Ouagadougou. This location provided an ideal backdrop for this artistic extravaganza. With free admission, the event welcomed art enthusiasts, fostering a sense of unity and appreciation for the diverse expressions of creativity.

Contemporary sculptures. Image courtesy of  BISO Biennale Internationale de Sculpture de Ouagadougou.

The 3rd Biennale Internationale de Sculpture de Ouagadougou (BISO) – The Fire of Origins, stands as a testament to the power of art in preserving heritage and igniting conversations about identity and belonging. Through the sculptors’ hands, the fire of origins continues to burn brightly, illuminating paths to a more interconnected world.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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