The Lumières d’Afriques exhibition was created by African Artists for Development (AAD-fund) in 2015 as a prelude to the COP21. This unique pan-African itinerant exhibition opened for the first time at the Théâtre national de Chaillot in Paris in November 2015. Lumières d’Afriques was later exhibited in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in the second quarter of 2016, in Dakar, Senegal, in early 2017, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2017, at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in early 2018, at EUMETSAT in Darmstadt, Germany, in the second quarter of 2018, and finally in Rabat, Morocco, in spring 2019.
This exhibition is the first in contemporary art history to feature works from 54 world-renowned artists, one from each sovereign African state. These 54 artists are united in a critical theme surrounding the need for improved energy access, based on a shared understanding that there is no future, no growth, and no progress without electricity.
The rich culture and art of South Africa, both ancestral and contemporary, renders this country highly symbolic. Gervanne Leridon, co-president of AAD-fund, explains that “not only does South Africa have a thriving art scene, but it is also a long-time leader in the democratization of energy access.” Jean-Michel Champault, the exhibition’s artistic director, adds that “the exhibition travels to Africa’s ecological capitals; the time has come for the continent’s artists to be recognized as influential drivers of change and development.”
From February 21 to April 30, 2020, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, welcomes the traveling exhibition Lumières d’Afriques, a collection of 54 artworks created around the theme of light and energy in Africa. Three of the participating artists, Freddy Tsimba, Nyaba Ouedraogo, and Berry Bickle, were at the February 2020 opening in Johannesburg.