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Dak’Art. Biennale de l'Arte Africain Contemporain

Chiara Pattaro    



Dak’Art, the Dakar Biennale of Art was devised in Senegal in 1989 as the Biennale de Dakar des Arts et des Lettres but – after an edition committed only to literatures, the Biennale des Lettres in 1990 – was achieved in 1992 as the Biennale Internationale des Arts de Dakar. Its creation is influenced by Leopold Sedar Senghor’s ideas: between 1960 and 1980, he was the first President of Independent Senegal and was always a passionate promoter of African art and culture. Under his government the nation developed a flourishing cultural context that will later lead to the birth of Dak’Art which, from its second edition in 1992, is exclusively dedicated to visual arts. This essay describes history, management and organization of its editions, until 2014, analysing some artists and artworks as case histories. The study identifies therefore the characteristics of a Biennale that is purposefully Pan-African, committed to giving visibility and prominence to African contemporary art, which is still poorly represented in the international art system.

Dec. 18, 2019

Keywords: Contemporary African ArtLeopold Sedar SenghorSenegalDak’ArtArt Biennial

Copyright: © 2019 Chiara Pattaro. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.