chapter  Chapter 8
5 Pages

Reimagining the Biennale of Dakar

WithKouoh Koyo, Eva Barois De Caevel

Established in 1996 in the Senegalese capital, the Biennale of Dakar, or Dak’Art, was at the time widely acknowledged as the foremost international cultural event in Africa dedicated to the visual arts of the continent and its diaspora. Lack of autonomy had also directly affected the quality of the Biennale’s artistic direction. For instance, on at least occasion the head curator of the Biennale had been appointed in an arbitrary manner by the ministry, without consulting with either the governing body or the board of management. Reimagining the Biennale of Dakar as an African biennial for African contemporary art meant taking into account the political, artistic, educational and social elements of the project. A well-organized programme of events would allow the Biennale to anchor itself in the city, without compromising on its commitment to contemporary art.