LUIS SALA

Luis Sala is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer from Maputo, Mozambique.  He has danced for the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique for 10 years, assuming the role of principle soloist from 2000 to 2007, inclusive.  Luis has performed for over 70 presidents and historical figures such as Queen Elisabeth, Nelson Mandela, and Hilary Clinton and had a chance to be in the Movie Ali by Will Smith.  He has toured across four continents and worked for numerous international choreographers, including but not limited to: Donald Byrd, Chuck Davis, Jawole Whila Zollar, George Khumalo, David Zambrano, Arco Renz, Bettina Holzhousen, Kwame Rose, Lia Rodrigues, Clara Andermatte, Francisco Camacho, David Abilio and Casimiro Nhussi.

In 2000 Luis started choreographing his own full length shows. He also choreographed for the FIFA WORLD CUP and for the South African Rugby League. In Luis’ creations he has worked with dancers, Capoeira masters, and musicians from Mozambique, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, England, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Reunion Island and Austria. He has taught internationally, in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Canada, Portugal, Lybia  and China. Ssince Luis returned back to Mozambique, he started a professional training program to increase the professional level in dance throughout the country, and collaborating with other countries in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean.

Luis is also one of the main partners with MoNo, (collaboration between Mozambican and Norwegian Government).

KARA LYNCH

kara lynch is a time-based artist living en exilio in Brooklyn, NY. Born in the auspicious year of 1968. Ambivalent towards hyper-visual culture, she is curious about duration, embodiment, and aural experience ; and through collective practice and social intervention lynch explores aesthetic/political relationships between time + space. Her work is vigilantly raced, classed, and gendered – Black, queer and feminist. kara is a member of Interdiciplinario, La Linea, a feminist artist collective on the Tijuana/San Ysidro border. She completed her MFA in Visual Arts at UCSD, a Permaculture Design Certification from the Center for Bioregional Living, and and has been a research fellow in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas, Austin and the Academy for Advanced African Studies at Bayreuth University in Germany. She currently earns a living as an Associate Professor of Video and Critical Studies at Hampshire College in Amhest, MA.

Major projects include: ‘Invisible’ – an episodic, speculative installation and performance project; ‘Mouhawala Oula’ – a trio performance for oriental dance, live video and saxophone, ‘Black Russians’ – a feature-length documentary; and ‘The Outing’ – a video travelogue. Awards for her video and performance work include iFilms and PlanetOut and Individual artist grants from Lila Wallace, NYFA, NYSCA, Paul Robeson Foundation, and Franklin Furnace. She has participated in various artist residencies: Arts International Residency in Moscow; the Banff Centre for the Arts; el Laboratorio Fronterizo de Escritores/Writing Lab on the Border; and the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy. She is published in XCP Streetnotes, Ulbandus Review, BFM, contributed audio to Cabinet Magazine, video to PocketMyths, and drawings/writings to the Encyclopedia Project v.II F-K. lynch is currently co-editing the forthcoming anthology: We Travelled the Spaceways Black Imagination, Fragments and Diffractions.

EMEKA ALAMS

Emeka Alams was born in Nigeria and his name has a strong meaning: God has done something wonderful
He has spent his life between western Africa, Europe and the States. He feels like a semi-homeless person, and can’t help but feel nostalgic about Africa from New York, city where he currently lives and works. The strong feeling of belonging to the continent fills his spirit and the one of Gold Coast Trading, the brand he has created.
Emeka sets a date in the story of his journey Live from the coast for when it all began, it’s 1444, the same year in which European colonists began the deportation of the first Africans. The first breaking point with a cultural world filled with suggestion that the African continent is trying hard to defend today and that those that have grown in the States or in Europe are loosing.

– See more at: http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/the-black-blog/2011/04/gold-coast-trading#sthash.N3eK3Oxv.dpuf

picture: Amber French

ABDI OSMAN

Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisplinary artist whose work focuses on questions of black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities. Osman’s video and photography work has been shown in Canada and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. He holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and B.A. in African Studies from the University of Toronto. Previous work has been supported by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. His photographs are also in private collections and the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts. Some of his work was in the year-long group show DiaporaArt: Strategy and Seduction by Canadian Artists from Culturally Diverse Communities at Rideau Hall. Abdi was a 2010 artist-in-resident at the McColl Centre for Visual Arts in Charlotte North Carolina. Most recently in 2012, he was a fellow at The Interdisciplinary Center for Culture and Creativity (ICCC) at the University of Saskatchewan.

ATO MALINDA

Ato Malinda lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She has a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) from Transart Institute, New York and is a PhD candidate at Leiden University and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She works in the mediums of performance, drawing, painting, installation and video, as well as has a growing interest in object-making. Her previous work has focused on Afrocentricity based in a postcolonial context. Within this context, Malinda has focused on the hybrid nature of African identity, contesting notions of authenticity. Through her research, Malinda has discovered numerous histories of intermingling of Africans through colonialism, but also trade, with other cultures. In addition, Malinda focuses on ontology of the female experience pertaining to Africa, examining gender and ideologies surrounding the history and current state of gender and sexuality in Africa. She has exhibited at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) in Berlin (2011), Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2014), the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (2015), Salon Urbain de Douala in Cameroon (2010) and the Karen Blixen Museum in Copenhagen (2010).

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Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013 GAMES, Savvy Contemporary, Berlin

2011 Incommensurable Identities, im Rahmen von IMAGINE – towards an ecoaesthetic, The Aarhus Art Building, Aarhus

2009 Dans Mon Brun, Doual’art, Douala

2009 Solo exhibition at Goethe Institute Nairobi: Looking at Art; Looking at Africa; Looking at Art, Prison Sex II.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2012 Untitled January 2012, Roots Contemporary, Brüssel

2011 the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), Berlin

2011 One Minutes Africa, at Townhouse Gallery, Cairo

2011 FOCUS 11, Contemporary Art Africa, Art 42 Basel

2011 Fertile, South London Gallery, CONTEMPORARY AFRICA ON SCREEN, London

2011 Kaddou Diggen, La Paroles aux Femmes, Women Speak Out, Galerie Le Manège, Dakar

2010 Salon Urbain de Douala, SUD2010: Douala Triennial, Douala

2010 II Trienal Luanda 2010. Luanda

2010 My World IMAGES, Contemporary Arts Festival 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark. Rebuilding, Remembering & Renewing, Karen Blixen Museum, Rungstedlund

SYOWIA KYAMBI

Miriam Syowia Kyambi (b.1979) is a multi-media artist of Kenyan and German heritage based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work combines performance with impermanent and permanent mediums including clay, sisal, paint and photography. Much of her work dissects and brings to question perception and memory. She examines how the contemporary human experience is influenced by constructed history, past and present violence, colonialism, family and sexuality.

Often the result is an orchestration that engages the viewer in a dynamic process that leaves behind a powerful visual impression.

Syowia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (2002) where she resided for five years before returning to Kenya in 2003.

She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and grants including 2nd place in the UNESCO Award for the Promotion of the Arts; the Art in Global Health Grant from the Welcome Trust Fund in United Kingdom; a grant from Mexico’s External Ministry of Affairs; and commissions by the Kenya Institute of Administration, the National Museums of Kenya and the Art 4 Action Foundation in Kenya. Her work has been shown in Belgium, Finland, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States of America.

by Nabila Alibhai