The remaining funds meant to host the 2020 Henrike Grohs Art Award ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, will now be shared among the top 17 shortlisted artists for the contest, organisers announced on Tuesday.
The award ceremony ought to have held in Dakar on May 30 but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed at least 505,000 lives globally and infected over 10 million persons according to Johns Hopkins University.
Explaining the decision to share the remaining money for the ceremony to the artists, the organisers, Goethe Institut and Grohs family, said it was to enable them use as needed.
Their statement read: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as a duty of care to our project team, contributors, supporters, artists and the visiting public we took the decision to cancel the 2020 Henrike Grohs Art Award ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, as scheduled for May 30 2020.
“The remaining funds that were to be used to host the ceremony in Dakar will now be redistributed to the top 17 shortlisted artists. Each artist will receive 500€ to use or share as needed.”
The 17 artists that will receive the once-off stipends are Morocco’s Abdessamad El Montassir; Uganda’s Anderu Immaculate Mali; Cameroun’s Aurelie Djiena and Nigeria’s Christopher Nelson Obuh.
Others are Eva Diallo (Senegal/Switzerland); South Africa’s Francois Knoetze; Kenyan, Ivy Brandie Chemutai Ng’ ok; Kitso Lelliott from Botswana/South Africa; another Kenyan, Michael Soi and Zimbabwe’s Misheck Masamvu.
There’s also South African, Oupa Sibeko; Patrick Bongoy from (DRC/South Africa; Tanzanian, Rehema Chachage; Ugandan, Stacey Gillian Abe; Kenyan, Syowia Kyambi; Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (South Africa/USA) and Ghana’s Va-Bene Elikem Kofi Fiatsi.
Meanwhile, the main winner of the prize will be announced on the Henrike Grohs Art Award website and social media platforms on July 30.
The main prize winner will receive 20.000€ and 10.000€ towards a publication with the two runners up each receiving 5.000€.
The three finalists are Ghanaian, Akwasi Bediako Afrane, Kenyan, Jackie Karuti and South African, Sabelo Mlangeni.
They were selected by a jury comprising Angolan architect and independent curator, Paula Nascimento, South African curator, Gabi Ngcobo and Egyptian writer and curator, Sarah Rifky.
The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a roving biennial art prize conceived by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family in memory of the former Head of Goethe Institut, Abidjan, Henrike Grohs. She was killed in a terrorist attack in Côte d’Ivoire in March 2013 alongside 17 other people.