15th Dakar Biennale

The Off is On! Why We Should All Still Be in Dakar

Here, Black Pages from Dakar shares a long list of exciting exhibitions and events taking place alongside the OFF Biennale.

Zohra Opoku,‘I am the one who shines, the one who is above the district of the sky. I go forth to the sky. I climb upon the sun’s rays. O, I am weary, I am weary, (yet) I proceed.', (Detail) 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim

Zohra Opoku,‘I am the one who shines, the one who is above the district of the sky. I go forth to the sky. I climb upon the sun’s rays. O, I am weary, I am weary, (yet) I proceed.', (Detail) 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim

By Black Pages

Dear arts workers all around the world, we need to clarify something about the 2024 Dak’Art Biennial.

The OFF is ON! But this message is like a broken record. It fails to capture who’s calling the shots (IN) and who’s pushing boundaries underground (OFF). Let’s cut through the noise. Dakar is buzzing with creativity, Ministry of Culture or not. It’s the artists, the cultural pioneers, and the trendsetters who define what’s hot. Independence, inclusivity, and collaboration—now that’s the real deal. OFF is the new IN. The rulebook on cultural ownership is rewritten. Dakar’s arts landscape belongs to its creators. And the biennial is their masterpiece.

The Dakar Biennale is a mixtape with the Ministry of Culture taking center stage. But the beat of Dakar? It’s in the streets, the hidden galleries, the spontaneous performances. Despite the ministry’s influence, Dakar’s artists hold the rhythm. The biennial’s postponement? That’s bureaucratic red tape stifling the cultural rhythm. The biennial is part of Dakar’s cultural fabric—let’s amplify the voices of the underground. When the biennial hits pause—that’s the Ministry of Culture’s playlist, not the sound of Dakar’s creative pulse. The OFF scene? It’s electric. It sets trends while the establishment plays catch-up.

Scrolling Instagram, under the hashtag #thenonOFFisON you’ll find around 200 reasons to join us in Dakar between mid-May and mid-June (at least).


In the meantime here’s a selection of some of our must-sees:


Black Rock Sénégal: Encounters

Artists: Adrian L.Burrell, Amina Kadous, Ayan Farah, Chinwe Chigbu, Enam Gbewonyo, Gouled Ahmed , Khalif Tahir Thompson, Leonard Pongo, Mae-Ling Lokko, Nengi Omuku, Panmela Castro, Paul Verdell, Sophia Nahli-Allison, Stephen Hayes, Kwabena Appiah-Nti, Ousmane Ba, Lilah Benetti, Makrone Diop, Souleye Fall, Timothy Hunter, Chase Johnson, Ngimbi Bakambana Luve, Ange-Frederic Koffi, Nicolas Lambelet Coleman, Samuel Nnorom, Ardeshir Tabrizi, Keith Tuttii

Location: Blaise Senghor Cultural Center

Dates: May 16 – June 16

Opening celebration: May 16

Encounters is an exhibition of work by Black Rock artists-in-residence from years 3 and 4. Curated by Dr Jareh Das, Encounters focuses on how many encounters – from the personal to collective, past, present, and future – shape artist’s perceptions of who they are and their place in the world.


Dem Dikk/Viavai

Artists: Jukai, Djibril Dramé, Stefania Gesualdo

Location: Institut Culturel Italien de Dakar, 48 Léon Gontran Damas, Fann Résidence

Dates: May 21 – July 14

Opening celebration: May 21 at 6:00pm

Curated by Mohamed A.Cissé, Dem Dikk/Viavai is a research project on the Sandaga market, focusing in particular on its memory as an intangible heritage. The exhibition brings together Italian and Senegalese artists with the aim of recounting the extraordinarily vital identity of Dakar’s most popular market, a veritable emblem and heart of the informal economy, now undergoing rehabilitation.


Khalifa Hussein: Lingeer 

Location: Institut Culturel Italien de Dakar, 48 Léon Gontran Damas, Fann Résidence

Dates: May 18 – June 14

Opening celebration: May 21 at 6:00pm

Curator ART KCISS invites photographer Khalifa Hussein to show his pictures of the protests in 2023 and 2022.



Artists: Younes Baba-Ali, Mbaye Diop, and Hamedine Kane

Location: Selebe Yoon

Dates: May 15 – June 27

Opening celebration: May 15 at 6:00pm

‘Import-export’, a term widely used in international trade, suggests a dynamic exchange between two territories, a transcontinental transactional relationship often asymmetrical and unbalanced. Beyond economic globalization, the importation of cultures, customs, forms, and knowledge has occurred long before the liberalization of trade exchanges in this century, from the colonial era to the present, sometimes imperceptibly. By observing certain sports, leisure activities, or economic sectors, each artist reveals unexpected networks and invisible trajectories that conceal mechanisms of subordination and dynamics of power.


Zohra Opoku: With every fibre of (my) being

Location: RAW Material Company

Dates: May 19 – June 16

Opening celebration: May 19 at 11:00am

Through her multidisciplinary practice, Zohra Opoku addresses the complex issues of belonging and return for Afro-diasporic identities. Her personal experience raises more universal questions regarding feelings of acceptance and otherness, the phenomenon of cognitive identification and the resulting societal responsibilities.


Na Chainkua Reindorf: Strange Flesh

Location: Galerie Cécile Fakhoury

Dates: May 15 – August 24

Opening celebration: May 19 at 11:00am

Na Chainkua Reindorf (b. 1991, Ghana) is a multidisciplinary artist with a deep interest in world-building and mythmaking through the art of the masquerade. Upon imagining a fictional female masquerade society, Reindorf’s art practice is currently focused on creating artworks ranging from paintings and tapestries to sculptural installations which serve as referential visual lexicon for this imagined world. Inspired by personal experiences and exploring West African folklore and religious cosmologies, Reindorf is interested in masquerading as an intervention through which guises and mutable personalities can be used to explore deviancy and non-conformity.


Branching Streams. Sketches of Kinship

Location: Théodore Monod Museum of African Art

Dates: May 18 – September 15

Opening celebration: May 18 at 6:00 pm

Branching Streams. Sketches of Kinship is conceived in the frame of the transnational research project ‘Reconnecting « Objects ». Epistemic Plurality and Transformative Practices in and beyond Museums’ (2021-2025). It brings together scholars and artists living and working between Africa and Europe.


African Art Book Fair (AABF)


Date: May 16 – May 19,

AABF will welcome international independent publishers and artists with a program of panels, exhibitions, workshops and events.The perfect occasion to highlight new and innovative publishing practices, to encourage exchanges and the circulation of knowledge during talks and informal moments.


And many more…To stay updated please follow #thenonOFFisON (ex #theoffison).



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