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Exploring the Artistry of African Creatives Living and Working in Germany

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Germany has become an increasingly popular destination for artists from Africa. Artists here in Africa seeking to further their careers and explore new artistic opportunities In Germany. Among these creatives are several talented African artists who have made Germany their home. They have also been making significant contributions to the local art scene. In this article, we will explore the works of three African artists living and working in Germany.

African Artists Living and Working in Germany.

Nicole Rafiki is an artist, curator, and editor, was born in 1989 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She currently resides in Oslo, Norway. Her artworks explore themes of cultural identity, migration, and memory. She uses various mediums in her work; photography, beadwork, textiles, and text. She also incorporates pre-colonial forms of global interconnectedness and knowledge transfer. Rafiki is also the founder of the Oslo-based platform Rafiki Art Initiatives (RAI). The platform promotes cross-cultural exchange between African and European artists.

Image Courtesy of Nicole Rafiki Website: Accession Series, 2021- Nicole Rafiki.

Another talented African artist living in Germany is Naafia Naah, a Ghanaian-German visual artist and illustrator. Naafia’s African roots heavily influence her art. She uses vibrant colours and bold patterns in her work. Naafia’s art explores themes such as self-discovery, community, and culture. She pays homage to her roots, she often incorporates elements of traditional Ghanaian art into her illustrations. She has exhibited in galleries across Germany and the Netherlands.

Image Courtesy of Naafia’s Instagram : Sealed, 2019 © Naafia Naahemaa

Another talented African artist living in Germany is Syowia Kyambi, a Kenyan-German visual and performance artist. Born in 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya, Syowia reflects on her experiences growing up in a multicultural society. She often uses a combination of mediums in her work, including video, sculpture, and performance art. Her art explores themes such as identity, politics, and social justice. She recently had an amazing exhibition at the NCAI gallery in Nairobi; Kapsale’s walkabout.

Image Courtesy of NCAI Instagram: Kapsales Walkabout 2023

All three of these artists are part of a growing community of African creatives who are making significant contributions to the art scene in Germany and beyond. Through their art, they are exploring important issues such as identity, migration, and cultural diversity, and they are using their unique perspectives to challenge stereotypes and promote understanding between different cultures and communities.

It is no surprise that Germany hosts a number of African artists, meaning that their policies, and environment harbours the growth of the art industry, specifically for Africans. Their art is not only visually stunning but also serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the arts. As more and more artists from diverse backgrounds continue to make Germany their home, it is exciting to see how they will continue to shape and influence the local art scene and the wider artistic community in Europe and beyond.

In conclusion, Nicole Rafiki, Naafia Naah, and David Avido are just a few examples of the many talented African artists living and working in Germany today. Their art is a reflection of the rich cultural diversity of the African diaspora and serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of representation and inclusivity in the arts. As the world continues to become more interconnected, it is important to celebrate the contributions of artists from all backgrounds and to create a space for their voices to be heard. It is also important to acknowledge the different enabling environments that help our artists in the diaspora.


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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