Central Africa

Curators to watch out for 

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In the words of Hans Ulrich Obrist,

“Today, curating as a profession means at least four things. It means to preserve, in the sense of safeguarding the heritage of art. It means to be the selector of new work. It means to connect to art history. And it means displaying or arranging the work. But it’s more than that. Before 1800, few people went to exhibitions. Now hundreds of millions of people visit them every year. It’s a mass medium and a ritual. The curator sets it up so that it becomes an extraordinary experience and not just illustrations or specialized books.”

Art News Africa has created a list of some individuals influencing, preserving and curating amazing art works that make a difference to the lives around us. 

It’s truly an amazing feeling to go to an exhibition and enjoy the creations on display and the ways in which they are displayed. There are many moving parts in its creation and today, we’d like to acknowledge these 5 who are influencing art in the world.


Folakunle Oshun

Folakunle Oshun is an artist and curator from Lagos, Nigeria. His career has evolved into a studio-based curatorial practice—creating unprecedented creative collaborations and possibilities while acting as a mediator between various mediums. In 2017, he founded the Lagos Biennial and served as artistic director for the 1st edition “Living on the Edge”. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts (2007) and a Master’s degree in Art History (2012) from the University of Lagos.

In 2017, he was awarded a grant as the first Curator residence for the Potsdam City Council in Brandenburg, Germany, where he spent a year making a film on the city titled ” Potsdam is Potsdam”. He is currently preparing a group exhibition titled “Systems of Disobedience” as part of Season Africa 2020 for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon.

Iheanyi Onwuegbucha

Iheanyi Onwuegbucha, artist, curator and art historian is presently Curator of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos). His current curatorial project “Archiving the Archive”, includes a long-term research and documentation of curatorial archives in Africa.

His other research interests include: post-war art in Nigeria with focus on the post-civil war period, collective war memories in museums, female modernists in Nigeria and inclusive museums for Africa.

His recent curatorial projects include: “Diaspora at Home” (CCA, Lagos and Kadist Paris), “Layers” (Labanque, Bethune, France) and “Ozioma Onuzulike: Seed Yams of Our Land” (CCA, Lagos). Others are: “LineGuage: Textual Imagery | Liner Allegories”, “Ngozi Omeje: Connecting Deep” and “Local Spaces, Transnational Connections”, both co-curated with Bisi Silva at CCA, Lagos.

Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh

Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh is an artist, curator, and critic based in Kumasi, Ghana. He has co-curated ‘Silence Between the Lines: Anagrams of Emancipated Futures’ (2015) and ‘Orderly Disorderly’ (2017), both organised by blaxTARLINES KUMASI.

He was a guest curator for the inaugural Lagos Biennial (2017) and curated ‘Spectacles. Speculations…’ (2018) featuring 16 artists from Ghana, Colombia, and The Netherlands in Kumasi. He is co-curator of the 12th edition of Bamako Encounters: Biennale of African Photography themed “Streams of Consciousness” (November 2019 – January  2020). Ohene-Ayeh is a member of the Exit Frame Collective and is presently a doctoral student at KNUST.


Serubiri Moses

Serubiri Moses is a writer and curator who currently lives in New York. He is co-curator of the 5th edition of “Greater New York”, a survey of contemporary art at MoMA, PS1. He was part of the curatorial team for the 10th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art (2017-2018). From 2013-17 Moses traveled extensively to participate in curatorial residencies, conferences, and juries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

Moses is currently an associate researcher in “African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic,” a long-term project founded by the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies in Germany. Moses completed his Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies at Bard College (2017-2019), and teaches contemporary African art history as Adjunct Asst. Professor in the Department of Art at Hunter College, New York. 

Recent texts and conference talks include: “Death as a premonitory Sign” at the Singapore Biennial Symposium (2020); “Counter-Imaginaries: ‘Women Artists on the Move’, ‘Second to None’, and ‘Like a Virgin …” in Afterall 47 (2019); FESTAC ‘77: Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (Chimurenga and Afterall Books, 2019); “The Hiss and Steam of a Pot of Blood” (online) commissioned by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, as part of Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology (2018); Women on the Move (1985-2015): A Comparative Study (2017) at Para-Site International Conference in Hong Kong.


Khanyisile Mbongwa

Khanyisile Mbongwa is chief curator of the Stellenbosch Triennale. She is a Cape Town-based independent curator, award winning artist and sociologist. She works with public space, interdisciplinary and performative practices, unpacking the socio-political, socio-economic, socio-racial, gender-queer and historical-contemporary complexities and nuances of the everyday. 

Mbongwa is the curator of Twenty Journey, a photographic project that documented twenty years into South African democracy. She also curated Puncture Points, an interdisciplinary art project that explored the intersection of energy and everyday life at the Western Cape, South Africa. And is a former Executive Director of Handspring Trust, an organisation that works with puppetry to instigate spaces for social and skills development. In 2016, Mbongwa curated ‘Infecting The City’ session titled ‘What Do We Tell Freedom?’.


Azeeza Sanni is the General Manager of Art News Africa. She is a graduate of Middlesex University of Mauritius & Monash South Africa. You can reach her with information/requests on mail@artnewsafrica.com.

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