The Red Hour
Simon Njami Curates 13th Dak’Art

The Red Hour is the "hour of metamorphosis and transformation.” And this is the theme of the 13th installment of Dak’Art, the most important art biennial in Africa. Emancipation, freedom, and responsibility are the issues around which the festival, curated by Simon Njami, revolve. Njami took the image of the red hour from the 1958 play And the Dogs Went Silent by Aimé Césaire, one of the founding of fathers of Négritude. This intellectual and political movement championed the cultural emancipation of people of African origins. Dak’Art is a result of this self-awareness, which despite all the conflicts on the continent has grown steadily over the years. Since the first installment in 1990, the festival in the Senegalese capital has become Africa’s most important platform for contemporary art. This year, 75 artists from 33 countries were invited, including Meschac Gaba, Moshekwa Langa, and Kara Walker, who are represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Artistic director of the 13th  Dak’Art is Simon Njami. The curator with strong international ties also organized the the preceding edition, that drew more attention outside of Africa. Njami had previously organized the pioneering show Africa Remix (2004) and from 2001 to 2007 was the artistic doctor of the photography biennial in Bamako. In 2013, the conceived the exhibition Xenopolis for the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle. The point of departure for the show was the question how artists view the metropolises of today, where a wide variety of nationalities and cultures live. The biennial is accompanied by an Off program with over 300 events. Many of them are taking place outside of Dakar, disseminating the biennial’s emancipatory message all over the country.

13th Dak’Art

May 3 – June 2, 2018
Dakar, Senegal