A leading cultural and creative platform ART X has announced winners of its 2022/2023 Access Art X Prize, keenly contested by artists from Africa and in the Diaspora.
This year’s competition, which attracted thousands of applications from early-career artists resident in Nigeria and over 50 countries across the globe, had 10 finalists — five from Africa/the Diaspora and the other five from Nigeria.
The winners Dafe Oboro (Nigeria) and Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski Vienna-based Africa/ Diaspora will get $10,000 grant for exhibition at 2023 ART X, Lagos; three-month residency at Gasworks, London for the Nigeria winner) and Yinka Shonibare’s G.A.S. Foundation, Lagos (for the Africa/Diaspora winner) as well as a mentoring, support and cultural exchange opportunities.
Speaking at a news conference announcing the winners in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of ART X, Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, said the two exceptional artists — Dafe and Belinda are unique in their perspectives, but united in their ambition to shift narratives about Africa and its global Diaspora pointing out that Access Corporation, through this prize want to reinforce emerging artists at the pivotal stage in their careers.
The organization according to her over time would build a core group of artists for Nigeria, Africa and the Diaspora, with the potential to become truly transformational, not just within the arts ecosystem, but within broader communities at a social, national, continental and global level.
A representative of Access bank Mrs Chioma Afe said the bank has funded the prize for seven years running, adding that the sustained interest is to bring out the best in the artists, empower them to tell the African story and to put smile on the faces of the young artists, who are acting as our cultural ambassadors.
Art X was formerly open to only Nigerian artists, but this edition had award for emerging artist from the rest of Africa and the Diaspora to strengthen its commitment to bolster the careers of a broader range of artists of African descent.
Both artists were selected by an international jury that included art historian, artist and writer, Professor Peju Layiwola; multimedia artist, writer and founder of Angels and Muse, Victor Ehikhamenor; founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin and Sonsbeek 20–24, Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung; founder and director of Tiwani Contemporary, Maria Varnava; artist, educator and curatorial director of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP), Gabi Ngcobo; and director of Gasworks and Triangle Network, London, Alessio Antoniolli.
Born 1994, Dafe Oboro (Nigeria Winner) works predominantly in photography and film. Drawing motifs from fashion and popular culture, he uses evocative sound and imagery to contemplate questions of masculinity, movement across time and space, and the socio-political state of contemporary Nigeria and Africa.
Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (Africa/ Diaspora winner) is a Vienna-based writer, artist, and researcher, whose works manifest themselves through a variety of media. Rooted in Black feminist theory, she has developed a research-based and process-oriented investigative practice that deals with the condition of Black life in the African diaspora.