Founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, is given the highest award of the State of Berlin.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is awarded the Order of Merit (“Verdienstorden”) of the State of Berlin. The highest distinction that the State of Berlin gives away, honors his “extraordinarily contribution to the development of Berlin into a cosmopolitan, colorful and solidarity metropolis.”
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is the founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary, a laboratory of form-ideas, an art space and discursive platform. “This is a recognition of the work SAVVY Contemporary has done over the past ten years. It is important to say that there is still a lot to be done, with the support of a very motivated, intelligent and hardworking SAVVY Contemporary teams as well as with the people of Berlin and beyond. Most importantly, this medal is dedicated to the people in Anglophone Cameroon who are in a state of war that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in and outside the country ”, so the awardee.
Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller, who handed over the medal on 1 October – the anniversary of the Berlin Constitution of 1950- explains: “[Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung] has worked in various projects at home and abroad. The main concern of the curator, author and critic is to create a decentralizing and equalizing concept of art and culture among producers and recipients, especially those in the West. For this reason, the internationally renowned curator and theorist founded the project space SAVVY Contemporary in order to deal with the post-colonial discourse and intercultural dialogue. ”
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung has worked as a curator, artistic director and consultant for various international exhibition projects or festivals around the world. He is the founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and artistic director of sonsbeek20-24, a four-year contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Ndikung was the curator at large of Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany in 2017; Guest curator of the Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal, in 2018; and the Artistic Director of the 12th Bamako Encounters, the photography biennale in Bamako, Mali, last year. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019 and was visiting professor for curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He is currently professor in the MA in Spatial Strategies at the Weißensee Art Academy in Berlin and has also received the first OCAD University International Curators Residency Fellowship in Toronto in 2020.