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The Dak’Art Biennale Returns

The 14th edition of Dak’Art reopened after a four year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, every two years, members of the international art world descended upon Dakar for its month-long Biennale. This year, Senegal’s teranga, or culture of hospitality, welcomes close to 300,000 visitors back and the city of Dakar serves yet again as a colorful backdrop for a meeting of minds. The event has two unique parts: an IN, comprised of artists who adhere to the year’s theme, and an OFF, for those who do not. Where artists who show for the IN have works that can be found in national buildings like the Ancien Palais de Justice, Museum of Black Civilizations, Museum of African Art, and National Gallery, the myriad of artists who partake in the OFF show their off-beat works everywhere else in locations from hotels to restaurants to embassies to libraries to bus depots to beaches to galleries. The IN features 59 artists from over 30 countries and the OFF serves as a ‘playground’ for close to 100 more artists. It’s a sort of ‘beautiful disorder.’ Dak’Art visitors feast their eyes on a number of mediums in both public and private spaces for free, and it’s quite literally an explosion of sculptures, paintings, photographs, videos, and more! The diversity and expansiveness make for one of the most unique art shows in the world.