Henrike Grohs Art Award has announced a shortlist of selected artists for the second edition of the prize to include Nigeria’s Christopher Nelson Obuh.
According to a statement by Goethe-Institut, Nigeria, the selection committee, made up of Nkule Mabaso (Curator at Michaelis Galleries, South Africa), Yves Makongo (Project Manager at Doual’art, Cameroon), and Serubiri Moses (Independent Curator, Uganda) selected 20 artists for the shortlist: Abdessamad El Montassir (Morocco), Akwasi Bediako Afrane (Ghana), Anderu Immaculate Mali a.k.a Immy Mali (Uganda), Aurelie Djiena (Cameroon), Christopher Nelson Obuh (Nigeria), Eva Diallo (Senegal/Switzerland), Francois Knoetze (South Africa), Ivy Brandie Chemutai Ng’ok (Kenya), Jackie Karuti (Kenya), and Kitso Lelliott (Botswana/South Africa). Others are; Michael Soi (Kenya), Misheck Masamvu (Zimbabwe), Oupa Sibeko (South Africa), Patrick Bongoy (DRC/South Africa), Rehema Chachage (Tanzania), Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa), Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda), Syowia Kyambi (Kenya), Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (South Africa/USA), and Va-Bene Elikem Kofi Fiatsi (Ghana).
The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a roving biennial art prize conceived by the Goethe-Institut
and the Grohs family in memory of the former Head of Goethe-Institut in Abidjan, Henrike
Grohs. 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.
Applications to the 2nd Henrike Grohs Art Award closed on 15 November 2019. Over 400
applications were received from 28 countries across the continent.
The main prize will be awarded by an international jury at a ceremony in parallel to Dak’Art
– Biennial of Contemporary African Art in May 2020. The winning individual artist or
collective will receive a cash prize of 20.000€. Two artists or collectives will be selected as
runners up and will receive a cash prize of 5.000€ each.
Cameroonian intermedia artist Em’kal Eyongakpa was the recipient of the inaugural award in
2018 with the jury of Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, RAW Material Company, Dakar).
Henrike Grohs studied ethnology and was Head of the Goethe-Institut in Abidjan from
2013–2016. She co-founded the project Next – Intercultural Projects at the Haus der Kulturen der
Welt in Berlin. Between 2002 and 2009, she worked as Project Manager in the Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra’s Education programme. In 2009, she was appointed Advisor on Culture and Development
at the Goethe-Institut in South Africa. Henrike Grohs passed away at the age of 51 in a terrorist
attack in Côte d’Ivoire in March 2016 along with seventeen other people.
The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. Its
mandate is to promote the study of German abroad and to encourage international cultural exchange.
Today it is represented in 98 countries and has some 3,300 employees. It contributes widely to the
promotion of artists, ideas and works. Supporting the local cultural scenes and strengthening panAfrican dialogue through the arts are part of its mission on the African continent, where it operates
19 institutes in Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam,
Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Lagos, Lomé, Luanda, Nairobi, Rabat, Tunis, Windhoek and Yaoundé,
as well as liaison offices in Algiers, Kinshasa and Ouagadougou and cultural associations in
Antananarivo, Bamako, Cape Town, Harare, Kampala and Maputo.