Dakar Biennale 2022: a call for expanding horizons for contemporary African art.
The fourteenth edition of the Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art (Dak'art) took place from May 19th to June 21st, 2022, in Cap Manuel, the former court. This major cultural event featured the participation of 59 visual artists and artist collectives from Africa and the diaspora. The exhibition, centered around the concepts of creation, imagination, and invention, embraced the theme of Ī Ndaffa (in Serer), which translates to "to forge" or "Out of the fire," inviting the forging of a shared destiny.
To forge a new world
Organized for the first time in 1990, the Bienniale of Contemporary African Art (Dak'art) is one of the largest African cultural events dedicated to visual arts, design, and digital arts. This Bienniale represents the ultimate framework for exchange, exhibition, promotion, and expression for actors in African culture. It is also a space for meeting and collaboration between cultural actors from the African continent and those from other continents. Hence the theme "Ĩ Ndafa," which means "to forge" in Serer. Through this verb, the emphasis is placed on creation, kneading, and fusion. It is about invoking the spirit of innovation and creativity in artists to create a new world.
An official selection highlighting various artists from diverse backgrounds
For this fourteenth edition, the 59 visual artists and collectives chosen for the official selection mainly come from West Africa (14 visual artists), Southern Africa (12 creators), North Africa (6 artists), and Central and East Africa (6 artists). The Indian Ocean is represented by a Seychellois creator. The remaining 19 artists are from the diaspora. Furthermore, the most represented countries include South Africa with eight artists, Senegal with seven visual artists, Cuba with five creators, France and the United States (four artists each). Benin and Cameroon, on the other hand, are represented by three artists each. Finally, Tunisia and Morocco each have two artists.
Highlighting the art economy
The art economy is also emphasized during this fourteenth edition. In this regard, the first official edition of the Dakar International African Art Market (MIAD) was held at the site of the African Renaissance Monument, following the one organized in 2016 by the visual artist Kalidou KASSE, the project's first initiator. Indeed, MIAD aims to be a platform for exchanging artworks both physically and virtually. To this end, the site of the African Renaissance Monument will serve as a sales showcase for works of artists from several countries (Senegal, France, Morocco, USA, Jamaica, Nigeria), as well as for partnerships.