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This Girl Squad Brings African Art And Design Straight To Paris
Also Known As Africa (AKAA) is the first contemporary art
Art Stuff 05 Nov 2019

Also Known As Africa (AKAA) is the first contemporary art and design fair dedicated to Africa in France. AKAA is the Parisian rendezvous for visitors who are passionate or curious about the vibrant creativity of the African continent, and its artistic influence throughout the world.

From Saturday November 9th to Monday November 11th 2019 come discover the fourth edition of the fair at the Carreau du Temple in the heart of Paris. Just a few days ahead of its opening, we got a first hand insight in what to expect by the ladies behind the fair:
A few numbers of the fair to share?
2019 numbers :
43 international galleries
18 countries represented
138 artists from 40 countries (Africa, South and North America, Europe)
– What is the concept behind Akaa ?
AKAA is a platform which brings together galleries, collectors, curators, art lovers and artists whose work reveals a link to Africa– defined by their place of birth or origin, their cultural or family heritage, aesthetics, travel, residency, new encounters or collaborations. The idea is to offer new reading of the contemporary art map which places Africa in the center. Therefore, at Akaa, artists from all around the world can meet because of their shared link to the African continent. These stories, encounters and dialogs offer à rich and vibrant art scene that may be discovered at the fair.
– Quick presentation of the female team behind Akaa (portrait)
AKAA is proud to present a team of brilliant and passionate women whose energy reverberates all through out the preparation for each edition and at the fair.
Victoria Mann (Director/ Founder)
FRANCE, Paris Victoria Mann
Founder and Director of AKAA – Also Known As Africa Art and Design Fair
Victoria Mann 34-year-old Franco-American art enthusiast and entrepreneur born in a family of art collectors, business leaders and travelers from around the world.
Passionate about everything related to Africa and contemporary art, she quickly understood the importance of contributing to the development of an emerging market in Paris and thus created the first platform for both cultural and commercial for contemporary art from Africa in France.
Armelle Dakouo (Head of Exhibitor Liaisons)
Armelle Dakouo
Armelle Dakouo has been working in art and culture since 2008 in France and on the African continent.
After working for an international hotel group in Dakar, Senegal to create their artistic and cultural strategy, in 2013, she moved to Casablanca, Morocco. As a curator, she collaborates with contemporary art galleries such as Cultures Interface or la Gallery 38 and with institutions such as the CDG Foundation, the French Institute or with multidisciplinary cultural events such as the Masnaâ Festival.
And since a few years, manages exhibitor liaisons for the fair, apart from several curatorial gigs.
Having spent half of her life in Africa and the other part in France, it is for her an essential balance to pursue a career to defend and promote the artists from the continent.
Mathilde Lepert (Cultural program manager)
Mathilde Lepert
Mathilde Lepert obtained a master’s degree in political science with a specialty in management of cultural organizations at the IEP Bordeaux in 2017, and a degree in art history the same year. Following these diplomas, she went to Cape Town in South Africa where she contributed to the magazine Art Africa, before returning to Paris and joined the AKAA organization. Mathilde Lepert has been in charge of cultural program for the AKAA fair for two years.
Very early on she was interested by history of art in South Africa. She wrote a dissertation on the international opening of the South African art market. She then moved to Cape Town, where she was immersed in South African contemporary art which she found incredibly open, dynamic, young and committed. Back in France, her goal was to deepen her research on this artistic scene. She then joined AKAA, where her curiosity widened to other artistic scenes in Africa.
Alizée Jean (Partners and sponsors manager)
Alizée Jean
Alizée Jean specializes in finding partnerships and fundraising, with both corporate sponsorship and crowdfunding.
After an experience in Montreal, at the Darling Foundry, she joined the Parisian agency Syracuse Conseil, in managing their partnerships.
Through Syracuse Conseil, she joined the AKAA team and has been in charge of partners and sponsors for the past two editions. Furthermore, in order to gain diverse experiences, she has been working for some time alongside the Maison des femmes in Saint-Denis, a shelter for women victim of violence founded by Ghada Hatem.
For Alizée its Art above all. She has a strong the desire never lock her definition of contemporary art into something too restrictive.
Mimi Vuurman (VIP liaison)
Mimi Vuurman
Mimi graduated in Art and Economics at Utrecht University of the Arts (Netherlands). She started her career between Africa and Europe and specialized in the presentation of contemporary African art and works as a freelancer in several countries. Her ambition is to give artists access to the artistic and economic recognition they deserve.
Her passion is to immerse herself and discover other cultures. Through the works of contemporary African artists, Mimi gains a better understanding of the world, with its borders, its aesthetics and its challenges.
– Where are the galleries from and what do they stand for ?
For the 4th edition of the fair, AKAA will welcome 44 galleries from 18 different countries. This diverse selection of exhibitors offers a wide view of the artistic scene in Africa and beyond. Discover galleries from Morocco (African Arty, Voice Gallery or La Galerie 38), as well as galleries from the Estearn Africa (Afriart Gallery from Ouganda, Circle Art Gallery from Kenya, Guzo Art Projects from Ethiopia). Several exhibitors are from the South part of Africa, such as THK Gallery (South Africa), Movart Gallery (Angola) First Floor Gallery Harare (Zimbabwe). European galleries will also be present such as ARTCO Gallery from Germany, Didier Claes and Nomad Gallery from Belgium, Perve Galeria from Portugal, Magnin-A, Anne de Villepoix, Galerie Vallois from France, to name a few…
All of the Akaa exhibitors stand for an ethical and stable development of the market where the artists whose work they defend may thrive and gain international recognition.
– 5 artists we should have on our watch list
Benji Reid (October Gallery)
Helena Metafaria (Nomad Gallery)
Mario Macilau ( Movart Gallery)
Osi Audu (Sakhile&me)
Dickens Otieno (Circle Art Gallery)

Mario Macilau Prayer, 2019© Mário Macilau, courtesy MOVART Gallery

Mario Macilau Prayer, 2019© Mário Macilau, courtesy MOVART Gallery

2.Benji Reid_theartgorgeous

Benji Reid; Going Home; C-printCourtesy the artist and October Gallery

03 Helina METAFERIA_theartgorgeous

Helina METAFERIA, The Empress Returns 2018, collaged paper 182cm x 91cm

04Osi AUDU_theartgorgeous

Osi AUDU, Self-Portrait with Yoruba Hairstyle 2019, Acrylic on canvas© Osi Audu, Courtesy Sakhile&Me

05Dickens OTIENO_theartgorgeous

Dickens OTIENO, Red Line and a Puzzle, Shredded aluminum cans and coffee wire meshCourtesy The artist & Circle Art Gallery

– What are the centers for contemporary African art if we would travel there this fall what shouldn’t we miss ?

Zeitz Mocaa (Cape Town)
Macaal (Marrakech)
Musée des civilisations noires (Dakar)
Fondation Zinsou (Cotonou)
– This is the 4th edition of the fair, what is new and what should we have our eyes on ?
For the first time AKAA presents a CINEMA DAY on Saturday November 9th and invite for the screening of two films at the auditorium of the Carreau du Temple. At 2pm for South Africa, chromatic portraits In the presence of the directors and South African photographer Zanele Muholi, and the second at 5pm for the premiere of Systeme K, in the presence of film director Renaud Barret and the artists.
This cinema program is open and accessible to all free of charge.
– How would you describe the African art market ? Did you notice any evolution between the 1st edition of the fair and now ?
The contemporary art market in and beyond Africa is gaining more and more momentum and promises stability for the years to come. In close observation by the art world for the past years, today we can see that more and more artists from the continent and its diasporas are entering important art collections and are being shown in major institutions.The African market is still a “young”, but it is clearly growing and strengthening.
AKAA aims to be a part of this development, working for the long term. Our first edition welcomed 25 exhibitors, this number has doubled for our 4th edition. The number of collectors and visitors we welcome each year steadily increases and so do the number of sales and their price range. We are a dynamic art fair, where people can discover new and young artists as well as more established ones. A rendez-vous not to be missed!

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