About the programme
This delegation is part of the British Council Visual Arts Biennials Connect programme. The programme promotes cross-cultural and cross-border exchange and collaboration by providing opportunities for curators to connect, collaborate and build meaningful partnerships with colleagues across the globe and to nurture future engagement with British Council arts programmes and partners. Through this programme, delegates will have opportunities to connect with senior arts leaders and world-leading artists for meaningful conversations, two-way learnings, and professional development. It will facilitate long-term and sustainable partnerships that could lead to international collaborations.
The theme of this delegation will have a strong focus on Black womxn artists, Black feminist thoughts and their contribution to the arts and culture sector today. Over the course of three days, delegates will participate in an interactive programme exploring the question “how do curatorial and artistic practices allow for a space for radical imagination that centralises Black womxn artists?” This question will prompt reflective and collective discussions with the delegates in relation to the programme’s activities, the work they do and how they use their curatorial practices as a space to articulate new ideas, discourses, and transnational dialogues for social and political connections and solidarities. Together with pavilion curators, artists, speakers and arts practitioners, the delegates will think collectively and critically about what the term “representation” means today.
Mifta Zeleke Berga (b. 1984) is a curator based in Addis Ababa. He received his BA in 2010 in English Literature and an MA in 2013 in Teaching English as a Foreign Language both from Addis Ababa University where he was teaching Literature courses from 2010 to 2015. Mifta translated Albert Camus’ “The Stranger” from Matthew Ward‘s English version to Amharic and the translation was critically acclaimed after its publication in 2013. Collaborations with artists, sporadic Public Relation works at the artist collectives Netsa Art Village(Addis Ababa, 2008-2014); organizing talks, exhibitions and festivals; working for the establishment of Galleria TO.MO.CA (Addis Ababa, 2012) and founding Guramayne Art Center(2014) are few traces from his journey in becoming a curator. He curates shows derived from concepts he develops with artists at Guramayne Art Center where he also avails professional development assistances for young and upcoming artists. Mifta was a curatorial assistant of Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition Time Sensitive Activity(Addis Ababa, 2015). He participated at The Berlin Art Week (2015); Àsìkò 2016 Addis Ababa: 6th International Art Program; Residency in AiR Bergen (2016); Tate Curatorial Intensive: Art Matters, Role of Galleries and Museums in the 21 st Century (London 2017); ACCASA 17 th Triennial: Symposium on African Art(Accra 2017); curated two editions of Addis Contemporary (Nairobi, 2015 and 2022); and is accepted to take part at the Independent Curators International(ICI) Curatorial Intensive in Kampala, August 2022 . Mifta teaches Curating; Criticism; Writings and Research for Visual Arts at Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University since 2015. Mifta’s criticism on exhibitions and institutions on a local newspaper brought some changes in his art scene in various ways. Mifta curated and organized more than fifty exhibitions in the past eight years. Instagram: mifta_zeleke_
Hollie Douglas is a writer and curator from London. Her research has looked at the institutionalisation of black British artists in seminal London exhibitions from 1989- 2018 to determine whether a curatorial shift had taken place. Hollie is interested in aspects of modernism, black womanhood and embedding the narratives of overlooked artists of colour into art history. She is currently embarking on a curatorial traineeship with INIVA and Towner gallery that concerns the way institutions change the way they think about national collections and the way they are curated in the future. Hollie is inspired by the idea of curatorial activism and the strive towards making curatorial practices more representative and inclusive. Instagram: hollie_douglas
Cat Dunn is a black curator specialising in social justice, an international fellow of the AAMC’s 2022 Professional Alliance for Curators of Color (PACC), an International Fellow with the AAMC Foundation Engagement Program for International Curators (EPIC) 2021, An ex-committee member for Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, and a mentor with Empower Women for Change-Thistles & Dandelions Heritage Project, Glasgow. Cat graduated with a master’s with Distinction in Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) from Glasgow School of Art and has completed an upskilling Contemporary Curating in Art & Design course at DJCAD Dundee. Her practice is a freelance social justice researcher and producer, activist, and artist. Her work seeks to engage and create dialogue about social Identity as seen through the lived experiences of marginalized women, and engages additional divisive subjects such as colonialism, slavery, racism, and feminism, often investigating those aspects that are all too frequently hidden or misrepresented. The overall basis of her practice is grounded on creating or adding to Marginalized Space and giving a voice to those communities. catdunnexhibitions.com
Martha Galavu is the founder and creative director of Tuzi Consultancy Limited, a creative design company based in Nairobi, Kenya. Martha is an artist and the curator of the Shujaa Stories exhibitions; a presentation of Kenya's folk and cultural heroes using art, performance and material culture. Martha played a key role in the conceptualisation, research and development of the project. Shujaa Stories is Martha’s most recognized work. She also curated a set of digital montage illustrations of Missing Objects in the exhibition Invisible Inventories Programme (IIP) under the National Museums of Kenya in May 2021. IIP is a critique of Kenyan collections in western museums. Martha Galavu holds a Bachelor of Education in Fine Art from Kenyatta University and has a major interest in African literature and cultural heritage. In her spare time, she enjoys painting in her artist studio in Nairobi. Instagram: @_shavz
Azola Krweqe is a South African based curator, researcher and writer who has an undergraduate Bachelor of Social Science Degree with majors in Industrial Sociology and Social Development as well as a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Curatorship both obtained from the University of Cape Town. She is deeply passionate about everyday black stories and black life. Whilst completing her curatorial training, her research project considered the multiplicities that black women embody that they are often denied embracing because of exclusionary white-supremacist patriarchal thinking that is deeply ingrained in systems within our society. Inspired by black intersectional feminist thinkers, she hopes to contribute towards dismantling these systems. Her practice within the contemporary art scene in Africa is one that hopes to contribute towards furthering the development of art spaces that are context-specific, pragmatic, provides solutions for local issues, is accessible and does not exclude those who come from marginalized backgrounds. Instagram: Azola_krweqe
Anna Liesching is Curator of Art at the Ulster Museum, National Museums NI. She is primarily responsible for the national collection of works of art on paper and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Gifted Collection. Her two main areas of research focus on redressing the underrepresentation of women artists in art history and the essential role of artists as activists. Anna is co-lead of the Northern Irish Art Network, a research group that celebrates and promotes artistic and curatorial practice concerned with the North of Ireland. Anna is also navigating part-time PHD entitled ‘Recovering the voices of woman painters in the north of Ireland (1957-1969)’ with Ulster University. Instagram @anna_liesching
Umulkhayr Mohamed (she/they) is a Welsh Somali artist, writer, curator, and consultant. Her artistic practice involves creating primarily artist-moving image, installation,s and performance work that explores the tension present between enjoying the act of wandering between emancipatory temporalities and a functional need to position oneself in the now. As well as a focus on context and care that has gone on to formed the basis of her curatorial practice. Their work is the place where they are able to forgo pretenses and hierarchies, replacing them with solidarity and liberation, a way for them to contribute to doing the work of eroding the borders between beings to reveal the wholeness that lays beneath. She sees her art as a way of clarifying otherwise cloudy feelings about duality through a process of poetic distillation. Instagram: @ahklmruuy
Martin Senkubuge, born in Uganda in 1996, holds a First Class Degree in BA Industrial and Fine Arts, from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. He is an Arts Curator whose practice focuses on Arts for social change. He mostly works with minority groups of people who are segregated, isolated and marginalised. Through his curatorial practice, he instigates presentations and experiential opportunities of visual-amplification to the voiceless, in order to create a sense of optimism in every viewer’s soul. As the head curator of ‘Part of Us biannual art exhibitions,’ he is developing ‘Vitiligo Art Movement’ in Uganda as a long term solution to a lifelong challenge. He founded Part of Us initiative, a non-profit that is creating awareness about Vitiligo Skin condition through high end creativity by Visual Artists in Uganda, Africa and beyond to dispel stigma. Instagram: @martin.senkubuge
Akya Sy was born in Dakar, to a French-Martinican mother, a journalist, and a Senegalese father, a visual artist. She grew up in the Senegalese capital before going to Paris to study Design and Art History... It is during the period of the World Festival of Black Arts, that Ken Aicha returns to Senegal. Sensitive to the creative environment and the cause of Senegalese artists, she created a cultural platform called Wakh'Art to participate in the valorization of Senegalese cultural industries. Both producer and curator, Ken Aicha Sy is an active woman in culture. Through her space the Idea Box, now installed on the small coast, she fights to follow her motto: she works to make art a factor of development and emancipation." https://akya-sy.wakhart.com
Bindi Vora is British-Indian artist working with expanded photography, Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication and Curator at Autograph a London-based non-profit arts charity that explores issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice through photography. Since joining Autograph she has curated Poulomi Basu: Fireflies (2022), co-curated Sasha Huber: You Name It (2022) Care I Contagion I Community – Self & Other (2022-2022); Lola Flash: [sur]passing and Maxine Walker: Untitled (both 2019) and contributed to a series of in-conversations with multidisciplinary artists include Mónica Alcázar-Duarte, Maryam Wahid, Tobi Alexandra Falade, David Uzochukwu amongst others. She has independently curated Poulomi Basu: Centralia for Recontres d’Arles – Louis Roederer Discovery Award (2020); Let’s Go Through This Again (2018); her writing has appeared in publications by Maryam Wahid Zaibuinnisa (Midlands Art Centre, 2022); Another Country: British Documentary Photography Since 1945 (Thames & Hudson); FOAM Magazin and British Journal of Photography, participating in public programmes for Tate, GRAIN Photo Hub, The Photographers Gallery amongst others. She currently serves on the Curatorial Advisory Board for Amber-Side Gallery, Newcastle. www.bindivora.co.uk
Consultant Curator/Delegation Facilitator
Cindy Sissokho (b. France) is a curator, cultural producer, art consultant, and writer with a specific focus on anticolonial social and political practices within the arts, and culture. Her curatorial work is nurtured by the urgency to broaden and disseminate knowledge and artistic production from systemically racialized and marginalized perspectives. Recent exhibition projects include our spatial stories live in performative futures (2022) co-curated at HANGAR, Lisbon (Portugal), this is a love poem, (2021) curated at EXILE Gallery, Vienna for the international contemporary arts festival Curatedby (Austria) and Breaking Translation(s) (2021) an online exhibition for HANGAR, Lisbon. Upcoming exhibition projects will be the curation of Black Tales, a multimedia sound installation by artists Mónica De Miranda and Xullaji for Refuge, the 4th edition of the Lagos Biennale 2023 (Nigeria). Her practice is also informed through multiple formats of engagement such as talks and pedagogical workshops. Most recent was the seminar on photography: How to Articulate (A) Collective Gaze(s)? (2021) in collaboration with Fabián Villegas for both Les Rencontres d’Arles (France) and HANGAR, Lisbon (Portugal). She articulates and brings curatorial and theoretical reflections through writings including art reviews and interviews for Camera Austria, Ocula, Terremoto, The Sole Adventurer, The Kitchen, NYC and Nka: The Contemporary African Art Journal, and publication commissions. She also has a great interest in artist development and artistic consultancy that translate into frequent mentoring roles and portfolio reviews. The most recent being with the PhMuseum, Bologna (Italy), Encomtros Da Imagem (Portugal), the annual FORMAT Photography Festival (UK) and the PIVOT Programme by Bluecoat and Castlefield Gallery (UK). cindysissokho.com