The Success of Dak’Art 2016

The 16th international art exposition of Dakar takes place from May 3rd to June 2nd in the Senegalese Capital

May 17th, 2016

On May 2nd the biennale of contemporary art of Dakar, in Senegal opened. The genesis of the twelvth editions of Dak’Art has been complicated but Simon Njami, the conceptor, has been able to turn it into a beautiful artistic success and the exposition deserves its name: “Réenchentement.”

The day before the opening, most of the pieces were still not installed, few of them being even blocked at the Senegalese customs. But Simon Njami did not lose hope and did everything he could to welcome the public to the former Courthouse of Dakar. To do so, he received the support of the Senegalese State. Indeed, Dak’Art is the only biennale of contemporary art of Africa created by a State. Nevertheless, Mr. Njami had only seven months to organize everything (when most art shows are planned years in advance), from contacting the artists to dealing with the demands of the government who made Qatar the invited country of this edition. As a result of those organizational difficulties and of the lack of time, it has been hard to collect money and to find sponsors, and the budget is only of one million euros, a drop in the water compared to the main Europeans expositions.

But the beauty of the pieces exposed allows one easily to forget all those difficulties. Artists from all over Africa are present, with a focus on artists from Nigeria and Egypt. This edition of the biennale is also an homage to deceased artists, such as Leila Alaoui who died in the terrorist attack in Ouagadougou in January.

More than 30.000 people are expected to see the exposition, the only one dedicated only to African artists.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Gaspard Fontaine, CD News