The Dakar Biennale
The Dakar Biennale, also known as Dak'Art, is the longest-running biannual art festival in Africa. The Senegalese art fair is imbued with a seductive air of jouissance as local artists put together temporary gallery spaces and institutions create one-off experiences.
Chosen for: Driving Diversity and Preserving Culture.
Dak’Art’s roots can be traced back to 1966’s First World Festival of Black Arts, hosted in the city by cultural theorist, poet and then president of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor. Situated on the west coast of Africa, the city of Dakar encapsulates an array of possibilities. Its vibrant and bustling atmosphere, lively markets, rich musical culture and art scene primed it as the ideal location for this ambitious undertaking.
The first iteration of Dak’Art as we now know it was held in 1990 and focused mainly on African literature. Today, Dak’Art features a variety of exhibitions, performances, lectures and workshops showcasing the musings of artists from around the world. It has grown beyond the city’s limits with events taking place at galleries outside the capital like Les Manufactures Sénégalaises des Arts Décoratifs in Thiès, a town 35 miles west of Dakar. African art and the works of those from its diaspora remain central to the fair. Teraanga, which translates from the Senegalese language Wolof to hospitality, is the philosophy not only at the heart of this fair but which permeates all aspects of Senegalese life. Through its showcases, the biennale provides a platform for Black artists to share their ideas and engage with diverse audiences, promoting cultural exchange and dialogue between disparate artistic communities. An invigorating mix of history, culture and art.
Dates are yet to be announced.