Inspired by global innovation, IAM is an independent artistic platform for collaboration and partnership – dedicated to women in art, fashion and design from Africa and its diasporas. We are grateful to have worked with a wide network of contributors from across the globe who have shared this vision with us.
Arman Koushyar (Paris)
Student at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University & arts writer
Arman Koushyar was born in Tehran, Iran, and graduated in Art History from the Sorbonne University of Paris in 2015. He is currently enrolled in a Masters dedicated to contemporary African art. For his first MA thesis, he studied the links between the art market and globalisation, with reference to the arrival of geographically specialised auction house departments.
For his second thesis, Koushyar will study the specific case of the South African art industry within the context of the African continent.
English & French
Claire Nini (Paris)
Independent Curator, Cultural Journalist & Scholar
Claire Nini graduated from Sciences Po (Management of Cultural Projects) in 2010 and, until 2013, was responsible for the the Villa Medici grants programme at the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris. Between 2013 and 2015, she led a cultural mission for the Institut Français in N’Djamena, Tchad.
An independent curator, she signed the exhibition ‘Broken Dreams?’ at maison M in Paris in September 2015. As a cultural journalist, she collaborates with Afriques in Visu, Diptyk, IAM and Little Africa. Nini is also a PhD student at the EHESS-Collège de France, where she is currently working on a thesis focusing on contemporary female African artists.
Clelia Coussonnet (Madrid & Marseille)
Curator, Art Writer, Editor, Cultural Project Manager
Coussonnet, together with Missla Libsekal, manages the editorial project, ‘In/Visible Voices of Women’ (an online & print monograph project). Amongst others, she regularly contributes to publications such as Afrikadaa, Another Africa, Diptyk, IAM (guest editor of IAM#2) and Ibraaz. She has curated an exhibition of previously unseen 19th century glass plate negatives from Uzbekistan at the UNESCO, as well as an exhibition about geopolitics and plants, ‘Botany Under Influence,’ at apexart, New York (2015).
Her interests and areas of research include mapping, mysticisms, decolonial aesthetics, botanics, memory and its fragmentation, orality, sound-based artworks and rhythm, design and the universe of textiles.
English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish
Daniel Hewson (Cape Town)
Educator, Writer and Artist
CDaniel Hewson is an educator, writer and artist from Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Alexander Rave scholarship for young cultural workers from developing nations. This enabled him to assist in preparations for the Weltkulturen Museum’s exhibition, ‘A Labor of Love.’ This exhibition will tour Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017.
Daniel writes regularly for ART AFRICA, Art in Print and Contemporary&.
Elsa Guily (Berlin)
Independent Cultural Critic, Researcher and Curator
Elsa Guily works as a correspondent for Contemporary& (a platform for international art from African perspectives). Her research focus lies at the intersection of decolonial practices, critical theory and visual representations.
Guily is particularly interested in looking into issues of postcoloniality in representations of French collective memories and the making of archiving in history writing.
English & French
Enrica Picarelli (Bologna)
Enrica Picarelli is an independent researcher, digital ethnographer, and blogger currently affiliated with the Centre for Comparative Cultures at Lisbon University. She writes about street fashions from Africa, focusing specifically on the aesthetics and visual politics of black self-styling. She is content editor at Blacks to the Future and African Digital Art Network.
Enrica holds a Ph.D in cultural studies of the anglophone world and has an extended record of publications dealing with new media cultures. She is also a crowdfunding analyst and translator.
English & Italian
Giulia Franceschini (London)
Giulia was born in Milan, Italy. Having recently completed a Master’s course at Christie’s Education in Modern and Contemporary Art, her thesis focuses on themes of cultural hybridity and displacement. Dedicating her time to explore contemporary cinema and art, she has previously worked in film production.
Among her favourite artists are ruby onyinyechi amanze, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Yayoi Kusama and Eric van Hove.
Gwenaël Ben Aissa (Paris)
Gwenaël Ben Aissa holds a master degree with a major in African arts from the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. During her masters, Ben Aissa focused on the specificity of missionary collections. Her following research work made it possible to create an inventory of African collections held by the missionaries in Brittany (France). Beyond the long history that links these two regions, her thesis explored the singularity of these collections in terms of museology, conservation and mediation.
In addition to various experiences in cultural institutions in France and abroad, Ben Aissa has also been in charge of communications and a project manager for a national heritage conservation mission. Today, she teaches African art classes at the Musée du quai Branly to students in the third year of the Ecole du Louvre.
Ism-Skism (Cape Town)
Collective of Artists, Writers, Educators & Curators
Ism-Skism is an artist-led initiative that uses street art and workshopping as a basis for conversation, autonomy and growth.
As an organic, collective effort, the initiative is constantly under flux and began as a residency programme in the small town of Clarens, Free State, South Africa.
Ladi’Sasha Jones (Harlem, NYC)
Curator & Researcher
In her work, Ladi’Sasha engages the intersections of digital storytelling, archival materials and cultural production. Recent curatorial projects include ‘Dreaming of Kin’ (2016) with artist Tiona McClodden and the ‘Emmett Till Project’ (2015), a digital commemoration of the 1955 murder and trial of Emmett Louis Till.
Based in Harlem, Ladi’Sasha is launching a small press and web-platform on Black cultural art research (IDA) and is currently the R&D Season Fellow at the New Museum. She holds a B.A. in African American Studies from Temple University and a M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU.
Obidike Okafor (Lagos)
Content Consultant & Budding Filmmaker
Obidike Okafor is a journalist for News24 in Nigeria and a content consultant at OBDK Media.
He generates content which involves preparing, analyzing, verifying and disseminating information in text, infographics and video for online. He is also a freelance art reporter and has written for many art-related platforms.
Paula de Almeida (Lille & London)
Paula de Almeida is Cape-Verdean; Lisbon-born; French-raised; London educated. Holding a BA in international relations and development studies as well as completing postgraduate studies in History of Art and Architecture, de Almeida is a member of the Xérem collective (Lisbon) and is currently organising community-based educational and cultural projects in Roubaix (France).
She is also a member of the 1:54 team (London, New York) and founder of Artrepid (contemporary art trails in London, re-launching in 2017). Some of her favourite artists are Matisse, Theaster Gates, Jeremy Deller, Billie Zangewa, Helena Almeida and Claude Cahun.
English, French & Portuguese
Rosalie van Deursen (Amsterdam)
Art Historian – Focus on Africa
Rosalie van Deursen (1973) holds a Master’s degree in Art and Architectural History from the University of Groningen (NL) as well as a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Amsterdam. She has lectured at the Art Academy in Tilburg and Amsterdam on global contemporary art with a focus on Africa and travelled the African continent widely for more than 23 years. She launched ‘Urban Africans’, a platform aimed at discovering Africa through the eyes of inspiring contemporary artists. Besides she organises exhibitions, workshops and tours, lectures and writes about contemporary African art. When not travelling the African continent, Rosalie is based in the heart of Amsterdam.
English & Dutch
Simone Schultz (Cape Town)
Freelance Writer & Editor
Simone Schultz is a freelance writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her interests range from notions of beauty and the feminine body, self-care as protest, and intersections between community, creation and entrepreneurship.
She is very into vegan foodie-ism, female community, and movement and is passionate about interweaving these interests with creative culture. A graduate of the University of Cape Town (English Lit., Media Studies and Sociology), she contributes regularly to lifestyle publications and is the former Deputy Editor of ART AFRICA magazine.
Valerie Behiery (Canada)
Independent Scholar & Arts Writer
Valerie Behiery writes about the aesthetics and cultural politics of art and visual culture from or relating to the Middle East and North Africa with a special focus on women, plural identity and cross-cultural translation.
Having a Ph.D. in art history, she has taught at several universities, done consultancy work for galleries and museums, and presented papers at international conferences. Her writing has appeared in art catalogues, reference works, peer-reviewed journals and art magazines, including Nafas, Islamic Arts Magazine and M: The Magazine of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Virginie Ehonian (Paris)
Blogger & Content Editor for African Links
Mainly interested in the arts, Ehonian began her artistic journey in André Magnin’s Parisian office, where another cartography of contemporary art was spread out in front of her. Writing about art and researching art from Africa became her daily activities (without, of course, forgetting the rest of the world).
Ehonian also holds a Masters degree in the International Cooperation between Africa and the Middle East from Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne (2015), which has provided her with the tools to find new ways to promote African cultures and heritage.
Yves Chatap (Paris)
Art Critic & Independent Curator
A graduate in art history from the Sorbonne University in Paris, Yves Chatap is art critic and independent curator. He also works as an independent editor for the platform Vus d’Afrique, which encourages African photography and is the co-founder of the curator collective “On the Roof” based in Paris. Chatap was Associate Curator of the 2015 edition of the Bamako Photography Meetings.
English & French
Khadija Hamdi (Munich)
Art historian & Independent Curator
Khadija Hamdi is an art historian and curator based in Munich, Germany. She obtained a master’s degree in art market from the EAC, Paris and a master’s degree in Art History from the University of Paris I – La Sorbonne. Between 2009-2005, she worked for a contemporary Arab art fund based in Germany. In parallel, Khadija taught art history at the University of Sfax and worked as an independent curator in Tunis, London Paris and Cairo.
English & French
Marynet J (Strasbourg)
Visual Essayist & Art critic
Marynet J is graduated a Master’s degree “Art essays, theory and critcism” from University of Strasbourg and alumni of RAW Academy Dakar. As an art critic and a theorist she published for Ososphère, RadaR essai-critique, Cinewax, KinAct and IAM.
Through a panafrican and post-digital gaze she studies allegorical memetic imagery on the Internet and in urban networks, African traditional knowledges, decolonial aesthetics, virtual and IRL cosmogonies, as well as computational subjectivations that draw the image of a connected future. Marynet J’s productions cross disciplines and geographies to dissect the imagery of her generation, that of millennials.
Jean Kamba (Kinshasa)
Poet and Art Critic
Jean Kamba lives and works in Kinshasa. He graduated in Bachelor degree in Information and Communication Sciences at the National Pedagogical University of Kinshasa (UPN), Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences since 2012.
Writer, poet, journalist, and art critic; he also organizes exhibitions. He works in the management of artistic projects focused on contemporary art; consultant for the collective “Solidarity of Artists for Integral Development” (SADI) A.S.B.L, for Waza Art Center and many others in Kinshasa and around the world. Since 2006, he has been doing follow-up, mediation and evaluation work on the Kinshasa’s artists in their Art studios. He focuses exclusively on contemporary artistic practices.
Madeleine Filippi (Paris)
Curator & Art critic
Madeleine Filippi studied Art History and Curating at the Sorbonne. Upon graduating she cultivated a research interest in three specific subjects; History, Archive, and Memory. While developing her critical and curatorial cannons for both public and private institutions, leading to a series of reviews and exhibition catalogues.
Member of C-E-A/ (Association of Exhibition Curators) was founded in 2007, to facilitate the conception, promotion and organization of activities around the professional identity of curators. Member of AICA (International association of Arts Critics)