Oboro, Kazeem-Kamiński emerge 2022 Access ART X Prize Winners
ART X, a leading cultural and creative platform, on Friday, 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 finalists were Africa / Diaspora: Lois Arde-Acquah (Ghana), Louisa Marajo (France/Martinique), Mallory Lowe Mpoka (Canada), Yetunde Olagbaju (United States) and Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (Vienna-based), while Dafe Oboro, Kingsley Ayogu, Matthew Eguavoen, Neec Nonso and Tolulope Ami-Williams came from Nigeria. Of these contestants, Dafe Oboro (Nigeria) and Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski (Africa/ Diaspora) emerged winners.
According to the organisers, the two winners 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.
Formerly open to only Nigerian artists, this edition had award for emerging artist from the rest of Africa and the Diaspora. This is 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.
The Founder/CEO of ART X, Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, said: “These two exceptional artists — Dafe and Belinda — who are unique in their perspectives, but united in their ambition to shift narratives about Africa and its global Diaspora. Our shared objective with Access Corporation, through this prize, is to reinforce emerging artists at this pivotal stage in their careers, and we aspire over time to 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 our broader communities at a social, national, continental and global level.
“We look forward to working closely with these artists on their development in the coming months, and anticipate that they will make the most of this opportunity, which culminates in their exhibitions at ART X Lagos 2023. Working closely with exceptional creatives and cultural entrepreneurs, the company seeks to develop energised, empowered and evolving identities for Africa through culture, taking inspiration from its homes – Lagos, Nigeria and Africa.”
Speaking on behalf of Access Bank, Chioma Afe said her 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.
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.
A recipient of the 2020 Film Prize at the Future Awards Africa, and a 2020 nominee for Dazed Magazine’s100 list of people shaping youth culture. Oboro’s film work has been screened at various venues and festivals in London (V&A Museum – Friday Late and London Short Film Festival, 2021); Lagos (ART X Live! 2019); Milan (Fashion Film Festival Milano, 2019); Eindhoven (Dutch Design Week, 2019); and Edinburgh (Africa in Motion, 2019).
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.
She interlaces with varying spaces and temporalities, thereby resisting a clean-cut separation between documentary and speculation.
Her solo and group exhibitions include: Seven Scenes, Camera Austria Graz (3.9.-20.11.2022), If A Tree Falls In A Forest (2022), Les Recontres d’Arles, Emplotment (2022), Museum Ludwig Budapest, KAS (2022), Centrale Fies, Solo-Exhibition Kunsthalle Wien (2021), The World Is White No Longer. Ansichten einer dezentrierten Welt (2021), Museum der Moderne Salzburg.
Her screenings include: The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Diagonale, Vancouver International Film Festival e.g. Her awards and prizes include: Camera Austria Award (2021), Doc-Grant Austrian Academy of Science (2018-2020), Cathrin Pichler Prize (2018).
Both artists will exhibitions at the ART X Lagos fair in November 2023, alongside other artists. Previous winners are Chigozie Obi (2021), Etinosa Yvonne (2019), Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola (2018), Habeeb Andu (2017), and Patrick Akpojotor (2016).