Year founded: 1992
Organiser: Senegalese Ministry of Culture and Listed Heritage, Scientific Counci


Since 1992, the Dak’Art has been a platform for contemporary art with cultural roots in Africa.

The Biennale of Contemporary African Art aims at being a space of different prejudice-free visions on approaches and inspirations to analyse in relation to a plurality of influences from both immediate and farther sources.

The environment itself is today characterised by its relative spatial limitations in spite of the strong influence of the immediate social environment. Dak’Art provides an occasion to fight the propensity to be prejudiced about contemporary art as expressed by some African creators by giving the floor to a different category of experts working at other levels of the visual arts world that refuse to confine themselves within some certainties and are concerned about a certain ethic.

In its maturation phase, Dak’Art is no doubt a relevant cultural proposal for the African Union. The history of the Biennale of Contemporary Art is the natural extension of a sum of reflections and actions carried out by intellectuals and culture experts from Africa and the diaspora who have very early been aware of the role culture plays faced with the varied challenges met at various stages in our societies’ progress towards a better life.

The Biennale of contemporary African art in Dakar is the only event of note on the continent to consecrate its selection in particular to living artists in and outside the continent.

It has enabled:

– to valorize the creation of new models in the field of arts
– to confirm or reveal new talents in the visual arts’ world as in the world of design and digital arts
– to create new approaches in the definition and the conceptual view of contemporary art in Africa
– to show to a large audience coming from all over the world a creative and innovative Africa
– to create new partnerships among African creators and also between African creators and creators from other continents

The biennale is created thanks to the will of both the Senegalese state which assumes the supervision and the local artists who since the seventies, have been organizing regular annual art exhibitions which bring to light the different shapes of the evolution of contemporary art creation. The aim was to make of it a show-window of Art and literature in Africa.

After two editions, the decision was made to focus the event exclusively on visual arts and on design with a small-scale exhibition in textiles and tapestry. Nowadays, digital arts take their place in Dak’Art. The tapestry and textiles show is no longer a part of the biennale.