Online Talk: Towards a more inclusive Biennale
Shahidul Alam, Tanzim Wahab, and Munem Wasif, the three curators of the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2024, talked about “inclusivity” with advisors N'Goné Fall and Tanvi Mishra. The Zoom event on 27 July was entitled Towards a more inclusive Biennale .... One of the questions was how do we negotiate synergies or cooperations between the local and the international, between the central and the peripheral. A discussion about “inclusivity” risks a reductive one-world view, which may exclude many possible (lived) realities of the Global South (and beyond).
You can find the recording of the 90-minute Zoom talk on YouTube.
About the speakers:
left: N'Goné Fall | photo: © F. Diouf Photography; in the middle: Tanzim Wahab, Shahidul Alam and Munem Wasif (from left to right) | photo: © Lys Y. Seng; right: Tanvi Mishra | photo: © Aditya Kapoor
Shahidul Alam (b. 1955) is a photojournalist, social activist, curator and writer, and holds a PhD in chemistry. His areas of interest as an activist, photographer as well as a curator are social issues, including natural disasters, human rights violations, government and military oppression in Bangladesh and the "disappearance" of political opponents. He has received several awards for his photographic work and his political commitment.
Tanzim Wahab (b. 1986) is a curator, researcher and lecturer. He is the director of Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography. He has headed several curatorial research projects and exhibitions including Breaking Ground – featuring works of the modernist forerunners of Bengal, (Dis) Place – an exhibition about displacement; looking at the possibility of a post-historical space and function as a symbolic “act of discharge” (with Hadrien Diez) and is currently co-editing Primary Documents – The Museum of Modern Arts’ (MoMA) publication series on international art. He has also been a fellow of several programs, including Art for Social Change, United States, and Art Think South Asia (ATSA), India, among others.
Munem Wasif (b. 1983) is an artist, curator and educator. His work examines the concepts of 'documents' and 'archives' and their corresponding influence on politically and geographically complex issues. He has been a co-curator of Chobi Mela since the festival’s eighth edition, and has curated three major survey shows for the festival: of legendary Bangladeshi photographer Anwar Hossain (2015), Nasir Ali Mamun (2017) and Rashid Talukder (2019). In 2020/21, Wasif was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His works have been shown in institutions worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou, Whitechapel Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Fotomuseum Winterthur and the Chobi Mela Photo Festival.
N'Goné Fall is an independent curator and a consultant in cultural policies. She has been the editorial director of the Paris-based contemporary African art magazine Revue Noire from 1994 to 2001. She is the editor of An Anthology of African Art: The Twentieth Century (Revue Noire / DAP 2002); Photographers from Kinshasa (Revue Noire 2001); Anthology of African and Indian Ocean Photography: a century of African photographers (Revue Noire 1998). Fall curated exhibitions in Africa, Europe and the USA. She was a guest curator of the Bamako and Dakar biennales in 2001 and 2002. She is the author of strategic plans and evaluation reports for national and international institutions. Fall has been an associate professor at the Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt; visiting professor at the Michaelis School of Arts in Cape Town South Africa, and at the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey in Niger. In 2018, N'Goné Fall has been appointed by the French President Emmanuel Macron General Commissioner of the Africa2020 Season, a series of more than 1,500 cultural, scientific and pedagogical events held all over France from December 2020 to September 2021.
Tanvi Mishra works with images as a photo editor, curator, and writer based in New Delhi, India. Among her interests are South Asian visual histories, research methodologies in image-making as well as the notion of "fiction" in photography, particularly in the current political landscape. Until recently, she was the Creative Director of The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture published out of Delhi. She is part of the photo-editorial team of PIX, a South Asian publication and display practice. She works as an independent curator and has been part of the curatorial teams of Photo Kathmandu and Delhi Photo Festival as well as the upcoming edition of BredaPhoto. Her writing on photography has been published on various platforms including Aperture, FOAM and The Caravan. She has served on multiple juries, including World Press Photo, Chennai Photo Biennale Photo Awards and the Catchlight Global Fellowship. She has also been a mentor for the Women Photograph program and is part of the first international advisory committee of World Press Photo.
The online conversation Towards a more inclusive Biennale ... is part of the digital programme What if you decide … This is developed as part of "dive in. Programme for Digital Interactions" of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) with funding by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) through the NEUSTART KULTUR programme.