Art Fairs

AKAA – Also Known As Africa 2016

Carreau du Temple, Paris, France
11 Nov 2016 - 13 Nov 2016

AKAA – Also Known As Africa 2016

AKAA – Also Known As Africa is the first art fair devoted to contemporary art and design from Africa to be organized in Paris. AKAA’s first edition will be held November 11-13, 2016, at the Carreau du Temple in parallel with a Parisian cultural calendar that features photography in its spotlight. By entering into this dynamic AKAA will welcome a large number of local and international art collectors.

Following the observation that Paris does not yet have an international event centered on contemporary art from Africa, the young Franco-American entrepreneur Victoria Mann launches AKAA as a commercial and cultural enterprise. She surrounds herself with a committee of international experts like Simon Njami, artistic director of the 12th Dakar Biennial and Elisabeth Lalouschek, artistic director and sales director of October Gallery (London).

An international committe comprising 5 qualified personalities from the artworld accompanies AKAA in choosing the participating galleries : N’ Goné Fall exhibition curator and art critic Dominique Fiat director of galerie Dominique Fiat (Paris) Elisabeth Lalouschek artistic director and sales director of October Gallery (London) Simon Njami writer, exhibition curator, art critic and artistic director of the 12th Dakar Biennial Azu Nwagbogu director and founder of LagosPhoto Festival (Nigeria).

25 international galleries are expected to participante in this first edition of AKAA. They present all contemporary forms of expression (painting, installation and photography) and will honor artists living and working in Africa or on other continents and whose work reveals a relation to Africa.

LES RENCONTRES AKAA – A platform of cultural exchange

AKAA propose a number of conferences, roundtable discussions, films and artistic performances in order to fuel the growing conversation about contemporary art from Africa.

Classifying. Putting into boxes. Comparing. Exaggerating -just slightly- the similarities and the differences in order to simplify this world, in order to understand it. A neat and tidy world with well-designed boxes: the starting point, the point of arrival. Between the two there is the unknown and the other.

For over five centuries, art and anthropology were interwoven and built the “authentic” African art object; a creation conditioned by the Northern countries and their quest for the exotic.

Today, the notion of authenticity is again and forever a mirror reflecting our expectations. What is truly an authentic artwork?

In this first edition of Les Rencontres AKAA, the panel of speakers are starting over and redefining this notion through a study of particularities, taking us back to the genesis of the artwork to explore the creative process of today’s artists, to dive into the techniques, artistic media, skills, to share stories that are rich, diverse, and true.

Les Rencontres AKAA”  is a bilingual program.
Free admission to the events taking place at the auditorium. As places are limited, please book.



November 11th

17:00 Auditorium, Carreau du Temple
The Ceramic Dance
Ceramist King Houndekpinkou and Musician Fumie Hihara present “La Danse Céramique”, a performance revisiting on stage the genesis of a ceramic artwork through the four elements: earth, water, wind and fire, with the sound of the Koto (Japanese musical instrument) and the Gan (Beninese musical instrument).



4:00 Auditorium, Carreau du Temple
Artist Admire Kamudzengerere discusses his practice and his medium alongside Raphael Chikukwa, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the National Gallery Zimbabwe, while both speakers explore art within the contemporary Zimbabwean national context. Catinca Tabacaru, New York art dealer and co-founder of the CTG Collective, moderates the conversation.

15:30 Auditorium, Carreau du Temple
Gender and the Role of Today’s Institutions in Tomorrow’s History of Art
Karen Milbourne, curator at the National Museum of African art, Smithsonian Institute, discusses the inclusion of women artists in tomorrow’s history of art with artists Ato Malinda and Nnenna Okore.

17:00 Auditorium, Carreau du Temple
Semiotic of the Medium
Artist El Anatsui, Winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, explains the paramount importance of exploring, choosing and mastering the medium in one’s artistic practice. In conversation with him, Salimata Diop decrypts the omnipresent linguistic aspect in his work.



14:00 Auditorium, Carreau du Temple
Creating one’s Medium
Photographer Pieter Hugo in conversation with Karolina Lewandowska, Curator at the Centre Pompidou, discusses the creative process behind his latest series and how it involves the creation of his own technique.

15:30 Auditorium, Carreau du Temple
The Invisible Masters
Rachid Koraïchi
, in conversation with Writer and Curator Rose Issa, retraces the genesis of   the monumental installation « The Invisible Masters » : a long-term project of 98 banners relating the lives and heritage of fourteen great mystics of Islam.

17:00 Auditorium
Outlines of the days to come
“Outlines of the days to come” is a projection of artists’ videos curated by Dagara Dakin, bringing together films by six photographers and video makers, Jean-François Boclé, Bruno Boudjelal, Dimitri Fagbohoun, François-Xavier Gbré, Yo-Yo Gonthier, Emo de Medeiros, questioning history in a retrospective way or revisiting a more personal memory, drawing from this material to create the work.


KWERK Lounge Series
Presenting a more friendly and intimate format for discussions with the public the artistic team has created the Kwerk Lounge Series, which will take place in our VIP lounge imagined by designer and architect Albert Angel and Lawrence Knight.

November 12th , 11:30 VIP Lounge (open to the public)
Bandjoun Station – Culture Incubator

Artist Barthélémy Toguo and Germain Noubi, respectively Founder and Director of the Centre for visual Arts Bandjoun Station in conversation with Art Critic and Journalist Roxana Azimi, discuss the vision and mission carried by the center and the necessity of visionaries initiatives on the continent.

November 13th , 11:30 VIP Lounge (open to the public)
… To a New Concept
Artist Olalekan Jeyifous, Writer Nana Ocran, and Aaron Kohn, Director of the MOAD, discuss the relationship between architecture and design, and the emergence of an evermore (inter)connected Africa. To a New Concept… is a look at theoretical drawings, timeless architectures, and even tangible furniture that collectively arrive at a new and changing idea of Africa.


Booksigning on November 11th 

15:30, Bookstore Artcurial (open to the public)
Booksigning of Invisible Masters by artist Rachid Koraïchi, and Signs of Our Times, From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti by Rose Issa in attendance of the authors.

18:00 , VIP Lounge (open to the public)
Artist Bruce Clarke presents the book Ghosts of the Sea, edited by ARTCO Gallery. The presentation will be followed by a book signing.


In 2016, AKAA welcomes five Special Projects. These exhibits hold a prominent place in the cultural programming of AKAA, whose goal is the development of cultural initiatives that contribute to increase the visibility of artists in Africa and beyond:

 – African Artist for Development
Created in 2009, African Artists for Development (AAD) is a non-governmental organization who initiate, develop and support the action of African artists committed to community-based micro development projects. For AKAA, AAD presents the project Refugees on the Move, through the eyes of photographers Teddy Mazina and Nyaba Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso.

– Bandjoun Station
Located in the highlands of western Cameroon and founded by artist Barthélémy Toguo, Bandjoun Station is a cultural nonprofit site, which offers a permanent space for artist residencies. It is also a free creative space for support for projects and artists. For the AKAA Art Fair 2016, Bandjoun Station will show the project Walk on the Moon, which is a summary of its artistic and cultural activities, summarizing the works that have been performed and exhibited in this structure, with its different editions of books, post cards and other objects. In addition, a flash will be done on its agricultural activities with the appearance of “Bandjoun Station Coffee” 100% Arabica coffee, roasted and ground in Cameroon.

– Instagram
The Getty Images grant was launched in 2015 to support the work of photographers who use Instagram’s open global platform to share stories about underrepresented issues and communities. Instagram and Getty Images are presenting at AKAA, Girma Berta‘s project: Moving Shadows.

 “With my work on Instagram, I want the world to look into the eyes of a face from Addis Ababa, the city where I was born and raised.” — Girma Berta (@gboxcreative)

Girma Berta is a 26-year-old photographer, designer, and artist from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His photographic approach incorporates cut outs of street photography extracted from mobile phone images and isolated against digitally created backdrops — with the entire creative process, from capture to editing, to publication, produced within his mobile device. His project, Moving Shadows, which explores the streets of his native city, received a 2016 Getty Images Instagram grant, with which he intends to continue his exploration of Addis Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia.

– Nataal
Nataal is a new editorial voice celebrating contemporary African art, fashion, music and society from a global perspective. It aims to support image-makers and storytellers by giving them a world-class platform through which to share their work. For AKAA Nataal presents a special curation of new photography by a selection of its contributing artists including Andrew Dosunmu, Chris Saunders, Cyndia Harvey, Gabrielle Kannemeyer, Nadine Ijewere and Travys Owen. Together their images use the language of portrait, fashion and beauty photography to reflects upon themes of self-representation that are shaping the continent’s creative energies today and tomorrow.

– Espace Design
The 21st century is putting African design on the map. Major infrastructure projects and entrepreneurial endeavours are providing demand for architects, industrial designers, and urban planners. Firms in New York are competing for sites in Gaborone, Botswana, pushing the boundaries of the field and winning competitive awards. At the Venice Biennale, a top award is given to an expat redefining life in Lagos, Nigeria from Amsterdam, Holland.
At its core, design surveys society and proposes new ideas. Whether it is through city planning, fashion design, or social development, design builds on what came before and tests new ideas of what could be.  To a concept… is a look at theoretical drawings, timeless architectures, and even tangible furniture that collectively arrive at a new and changing idea of Africa.
This exhibit sets out to celebrate contemporary design from Africa. Aaron Kohn, director of the Museum of African Design, Johannesburg, and guest curator for this edition will present an exhibition exploring the dialogue between design and architecture.



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