Simon Njami, Member of the Reiffers Art Initiatives Committee


Simon Njami is a writer, curator, essayist and art critic. He specializes in contemporary art and photography in Africa.

A specialist in contemporary art and African art, he co-founded in 1991 with Jean-Loup Pivin, the Revue Noire, a magazine devoted to contemporary and non-Western African art. After creating the Ethnicolor Festival in 1987, he conceived numerous exhibitions and was one of the first to present the works of contemporary African artists on international stages. He was the artistic director of the Rencontres de Bamako, the African Biennale of Photography, from 2001 to 2007. Njami co-curated the first African Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale and helped develop the first African Contemporary Art Fair, held in Johannesburg in 2008. In 2016 and 2018, Simon Njami is the artistic director of the 12th and 13th edition of Dak’art, the Dakar Biennale. He is also the curator of the exhibition Afriques Capitales which was held at La Villette Paris in spring 2017 and at the Gare Saint-Sauveur in Lille, from April to September 2017. Simon Njami has participated in numerous juries and is the secretary of the specialized jury of the World Press Photo. He is the artistic advisor of the Sindika Dokolo Foundation, and the artistic director of the Donwahi Foundation, and is a member of the scientific councils of many museums. Currently, Njami is directing AtWork, an itinerant digital project with the lettera27 foundation, in partnership with Moleskine, as well as the Pan-African Photography Masterclasses, a project he conceived with the Goethe Institute.