The Leopold Senghor Grand Prize at the 12 Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal, went to Morocco’s Younes Baba-Ali for his installation “Horn Orchestra.” The prize was offered by senegalese President Macky Sall.
Awards were announced during the biennial’s opening ceremony on 18 May in the presence of Senegal’s President Macky Sall, Minister of Culture and Tourism Youssou Ndour, Chairman of the orientation committee of Dak’Art and chairman of Eiffage Senegal Gérard Senac and Nadira Laggoune, curator representing the jury of Dak’Art 2012.
“Horn Orchestra”, is a sound installation consisting of a series of 10 car horns suspended in an enclosed space. At the glance, the installation takes on a rather sculptural and silent presence. The public is invited to walk in the space and their presence triggers the installation, which at random produces an imposing sonic atmosphere.
Baba-Ali also received the prize of “Vives Voix” Foundation. The International Francophonie Organization (OIF) prize went to Algeria’s Sofiane Zouggar, while Cameroonian artist Em’Kal Eyongakpa won the prize from the City of Dakar.
Other major proze winners include Rwandan artist Laura Nsengiyumva, who one the Contemporary African Art prize, presented by Minister of Culture and Tourism, Yossou Ndour. The 25-year-old Belgian artist of Rwandan origin, Nsengiyumva, studied architecture at La Cambre and lives in Brussels. Her installation called “1994” is a commemorative and autobiographical work. It depicts a daily sad scene of a Belgian family of Rwandan origin watching TV during the time of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“My work talks about the Rwandan Diaspora in Brussels and how we are still looking for the way to commemorate the Genocide against the Tutsi. It’s really about the feelings of being away from home and finding your roots – it’s another testimony that we used to hear,” Nsengiyumva said.
South Africa’s Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi received the Blachè;re’s Foundation prize, while Nancy Mteki from Zimbabwe won the residence prize in Scotland by Deveron Arts – meaning she was offered a three-month stay in Scotland. Nathalie Mba Bikoro from Gabon was awarded by Centre Soleil d’Afrique.
42 artists (16 females, 26 males) were selected from 329 entries from 21 African countries and the Diaspora.