Goethe-Institut announces 2020 Henrike Grohs Art Award finalists
The finalists are Akwasi Bediako Afrane (Ghana), Jackie Karuti (Kenya) and Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa). The three were selected by a jury comprising Angolan architect and independent curator Paula Nascimento, South African educator and curator Gabi Ngcobo and Egyptian writer and curator Sarah Rifky.
The winner will receive a cash prize of €20 000 ($22 000) with €10 000 towards the production of a publication of the winner’s work. Two artists will be selected as runners-up and awarded a cash prize of €5 000 each.
“While each iteration of the award ceremony is celebrated at a different biennale or major art event on the continent, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the Henrike Grohs Art Award has decide to announce the 2020 winner through a different platform,” Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family said. “We will share this new format and the date of the winner announcement in the coming weeks.”
The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a roving biennial prize conceived by Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family in memory of the former head of Goethe-Institut Abidjan, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Grand-Bassam in 2016.
Grohs was instrumental in setting up the Music In Africa project in 2011. She served as a board member of the Music In Africa Foundation for two years and stepped down to focus on her responsibilities as the director of Goethe-Institut Abidjan.
The prize is awarded biennially to an artist or arts collective living and working on the African continent, and practicing in the field of visual arts.
About the finalists
Akwasi Bediako Afrane is a Ghanaian artist living and working in Kumasi, Ghana. His work explores the idea of augmentation and extensions between technological gadgets and humans. He works with discarded electronic gadgets which he refers to as “amputees”.
Jackie Karuti is an artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her practice is largely experimental and employs the use of new media through drawings, video, installations and performance art. Her work is founded on ideas around knowledge production and accessibility as well as the depths of possibility enabled by radical imagination.
Sabelo Mlangeni is a photographer from South Africa who focuses on capturing the intimate, everyday moments of communities in contemporary South Africa. Born in 1980 in Driefontein near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga, Mlangeni moved to Johannesburg in 2001 where he joined the Market Photo Workshop, graduating in 2004.