The Future of Africa-Based Curatorial Practice Keynote - Koyo Kouoh


Friday, June 24, 2022, 9:00am to 10:00am


Harvard Art Museums - 480 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Koyo Kouoh is the Executive Director & Chief Curator of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town since May 2019. Prior to this appointment, she was the founding Artistic Director of RAW Material Company; a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar.

She has organized meaningful and timely exhibitions such as Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Works of Six African Women Artists, first shown at Wiels in Brussels in 2015. She curated Still (the) Barbarians, 37th EVA International, the Ireland Biennial in Limerick in 2016, and participated to the 57th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh with the research exhibition project Dig Where You Stand, 2018, a show within a show drawn from the collections of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. She was the initiator of the research project Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy, co-curated with Rasha Salti at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, 2015-2018. Active in the critical field of the arts community in a Pan-African and international scope, Kouoh has a remarkable list of publications under her name, including the forthcoming Shooting Down Babylon (2022), the first monograph on the work of South African artist Tracey Rose, Breathing out School: RAW Académie (2021), Condition Report on Art History in Africa, (2020), Word!Word?Word! Issa Samb and The Undecipherable Form, (2013) and Condition Report on Building Art Institutions in Africa, (2013) to name a few. She has served as Curator of the Educational and Artistic Programme of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York from 2013-2017 as well as on the curatorial teams for Documenta 12 (2007) and Documenta 13 (2012). Kouoh is the recipient of the Grand Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020, the Swiss Award for Art which honours achievements in the fields of art, architecture, critique and curatorial practice. During her tenure at Zeitz MOCAA her curatorial work focuses on in depth solo exhibitions by African and African descent artists. As such, she has organized exhibtions with Otobong Nkanga, Johannes Phokela, Senzeni Marasela, Abdoulaye Konate and Tracey Rose. She lives and works alternatively in Cape Town, Dakar and Basel.

More information about the workshop:

ORGANIZERS: Harvard Center for African Studies, Harvard Art Museums, the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology