Johanna Bramble (born 1976 in Paris, France) is a textile artist and designer who moved from France to Dakar, Senegal, more than ten years ago. She is founder of a weaving workshop and of the brand Johanna Bramble Créations for interior design, accessories and collaborates with fashion designers. Her commercial textile designs are based on traditional Senegalese hand weaving practices. In her artistic work she stretches the boundaries of the country´s textile heritage, including modern materials and cross-cultural encounters. For Bramble, textiles are witnesses of the evolution of civilization, allowing us to glimpse unsuspected links between cultures. They free our minds of geographical and political borders. A feature about her work was presented on the international design platform Design Indaba (2017), she is regularly showing her work at the biennale Dak’Art in Dakar.
Leone Contini (1976, Florence) has studied Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology at Università degli Studi di Siena. His research, mainly focused on intercultural frictions, conflict and power relations, displacement, migration and diasporas, borrows the tools of contemporary anthropology in order to short-circuiting spheres of common feelings and significance through the use of lecture performances, collective interventions in public space, textual and audio-visual narratives, blogging and self-publishing. He has exhibited or held interventions at Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (2012); Khoj, New Delhi (2014); Kunstraum, Munich (2014); 2nd Tbilisi Triennial, Georgia (2015); D-0 Ark Underground Biennial, Bosnia (2015); Delfina Foundation, London,(2015); Quadriennale, Roma (2016); Topane i-Amire, Istanbul (2016); Gam, Torino (2017) and Mudec, Milano (2017). Contini lives and works in Tuscany.
Aliou (Badou) Diack was born in 1987 in Sidi Bougou, in the Mbour region in Senegal. He left his village to attend a school in Dakar at the age of ten. Being away from home he began to draw the green flora and rich fauna of his village, reproducing the animistic forests of his childhood. With financial help of his spiritual guide he completed his studies at the École National des Arts du Sénégal in 2013. Until today the story of his childhood and of that ancient communion with nature plays an important role in his works. Natural sensations are also part of the painting process itself. Diack literally exposes his images to the natural surroundings of his atelier. The artist’s paintings were on display at Paris Art Fair in 2017 and will be on display at the biennale in Dakar in 2018.
Giovanni Hänninen (born in Helsinki, 1976), lives and works in Milan. He holds a PhD in Aerospace Engineering and works as professor in Photography for Architecture at the Architecture and Urbanism Department of Politecnico di Milano. His reportages and photographic portraits of cities are published in national and international magazines. For his photographic investigations on architectural and urban landscape he collaborated with various institutions including the Milan Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Heritage Institute of the Emilia Romagna Region, the Urban Planning Department of the Milan Polytechnic and the French Ministry of Ecology and Infrastructure. Hänninen’s works have been exhibited in Spazio Forma, Milano (2011); the XIII Biennale di Architettura, Venice (2012); Triennale Milano (2014); Ancien Musée de Peinture, Grenoble (2015) and the Institut d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme, Paris (2015).
Mohamed Keita is born in Ivory Coast in 1993 and had to leave his country at the age of 14 in the middle of the civil war. He took a very long journey on his own, through Guinea, Mali, Algeria, the Sahara Desert, Libya and Malta to arrive in Italy in 2010, at the age of 17. Thanks to the attendance of the Civico Zero center for refugee minors in Rome he discovered an innate vocation to photography and started his artistic career. Today he lives and works in Rome. In 2017 he opened a photo lab for street children in Mali. Keita’s photographic work has been featured in several institutions in Rome, including Museo MACRO. In 2016 the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in New York displayed his work alongside photographs of Paolo Pellegrin.
Juan Pablo Macías (Mexico, 1974), studied visual arts at the University de las Américas in Mexico, after the Complutense in Madrid; in 2005 he took part in the residency program of the Ratti Foundation in Italy with Alfredo Jaar. The work of Macias explores the relation between systems of representation and affectivity, and analogically, between power knowledge and insurrectional knowledge. With his actions, interventions, work on archives and editorial projects, he intends to cause tensions between institution, art practice and social field, abandoning flat semantics by producing programs that operate directly on the biological, social and economic bodies. His work was on display in major art museums in Mexico and in institutions around the world as Kunstraum München, Munich (2013); Italian Embassy in Berlin (2015), Goethe Institut, San Paulo (2015) and VCRC Kiew (2015).
Fabrice Monteiro is of Belgian-Beninese ancestry and has been living and working in Dakar since seven years. Industrial engineer by education, he worked as a model before he started to dedicate himself to photography in 2007, thanks to Alfonso Pagano, an American photographer and friend. Monteiro´s portfolio of work spans photojournalism, fashion photography and portraiture. The culture, society and religion of Africa is his primary source of inspiration. He aims to create a bridge between cultures. Keen to avoid exotic representations he maintains his personal and third perspective. Monteiro’s work has been part of many international shows: Rencontres photographique de Bamako(2015), Lagos Photo Festival (2015), Vitra Museum, Weil am Rhein (2015) and at Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund (2017). Upcoming shows in 2018 include the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington DC, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago as well as the Dak´Art Biennial.
Mario Pfeifer (1981 in Dresden) explores representational structures and conventions in the medium of film, at locations such as Mumbai, California and the Western Sahara. He combines cross-cultural art historical, filmic and political references in rich overlays. He has had many solo shows in institutions around the world, including Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile (2014), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art – GFZK Leipzig (2016) and Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (2018). His films were screened at MoMA PS1 in New York (2013), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013), Seoul New Media Festival (2015), Filmfestival Oberhausen (2016) and CAC Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (2016). He participated in the Biennales of Montevideo (2016), Porte Alegre (2018), Berlin (2018), Pfeifer received the VideoArtAward Bremen (2010), the Salon Video Art Prize London (2011) and Celeste Video Art Prize (2012) in Rome.
Judith Raum (born 1977, lives in Berlin) studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt as well as at Cooper Union School of Arts and Parsons School of Design, New York. After her studies she completed a Master‘s degree in Philosophy, Art History and Psychoanalysis. She devotes her artistic work to complex narratives (a recent project that took several years followed the construction of the Anatolian Railway by a consortium of the German Empire) and their contingencies, e.g. collisions between their subjective and objective vehicles. Judith Raum‘s lecture-performances and installations have been shown in many international institutions since 2005, including Ludlow 38, New York City (2014); Salt, Istanbul (2015); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2015); Careof, Milan (2015) and as part of the German Pavillon at the 15th International architecture exhibition in Venice (2016). Judith Raum has been Villa Romana fellow in 2015.
Alibeta Saliou Sarr released his documentary film Life Saaraba Illegal in 2017. The documentary is about the migratory phenomenon of sub-Saharan Africans to Europe from a personal and collective point of view. For eight years, Sarr accompanied his cousin Souley in his dream of following in the footsteps of his brother Aladji who had emigrated to Spain. Beyond this documentary, Sarr, who is better known as the musician Alibeta, initiates multi-disciplinary projects including music, film and theater with strong social messages. In addition to the artistic creation he also coordinates programs for university students and is founder of the start-up Baraka Global Arts, to support Senegalese cultural production.
Lerato Shadi born 1979 in Mahikeng, South Africa, lives and works in Berlin. She studied art at the University of Johannesburg. Her practice investigates the politics of the body, of the female body, the body of the black South African woman. In her work Lerato deals with themes of institutional violence, of the patriarchal and colonial strategies of exclusion and oblivion and of the resistance through subjective narratives. Shadi works with different media including drawing, performance and video. Her works have been presented in many museums and project speces, including the Biennials of Moscow and Dakar.
Patrick Joel Yonkeu aka Omraam Tatcheda was born in 1985 in Douala, Cameroon. After a scientific training at the Saint-Jean Baptiste Catholic School in Bangangtè, he finally decided to dedicate himself to art. Thanks to a scholarship, Tatcheda went to Italy where he studied painting for four years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. He received a Master in Visual Arts on the theme “Zen in art” in 2016. In Bologna he has been creating intercultural painting workshops with schools and associations in the Emilia-Romagna region. In 2016 Tatcheda has been artist in residence at Thread residency and cultural center of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Sinthian, Senegal. His works were on display at the IV Biennale Internazionale delle Sculture di Salgemma in Sicily (2017), at Fondation Sindika Dokolo, Luanda (2017), at Black History Month Florence (2018) and La Galleria Nazionale, Rome (2018). His work will be shown at the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale.
Justin Randolph Thompson, sculptor, media artist and musician, was born in 1979 in Peekskill, NY. He lives in Italy and the USA. Thompson’s work questions the implications of cultural relics and the mutability of their veneration within the context of displacement. Broadly collaborative and inherently interdisciplinary he relies upon the collective power of creative dialogue to provide platforms that envision communities as temporary monuments. Resisting a legacy of American triumph and problematizing aspirations towards Roman expansionist history, site-specific works engage community-oriented groups across disciplines in the creation of installations and sound-based performances utilizing gestures of labour as rhythmic structures. Thompson exhibits internationally and has been an Artist in Residence, ia. at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Reina Sofia, the Mobile Museum of Art, and the American Academy in Rome. He is co-founder of the Black History Month Florence, which exists since 2016.