Rooted in the industrial and cultural heritage of the Katanga region, Sammy Baloji’s work explores the memory and history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Questioning the impact of colonisation, he uses photography archives to manipulate time and space in order to compare old colonial narratives to contemporary economic imperialisms.

Baloji’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including Congo, Fragments d’une histoire, Le Point du Jour, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France (2019); Sammy Baloji: Extractive Landscapes, Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts (2019); and Urban Now: City Life in Congo, Sammy Baloji and Filip de Boeck, The Power Plant, Toronto & Open Society Foundation, New York (2017).

He has also participated in group shows, including Congoville, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, (2021); NIRIN, 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); Our World is Burning, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2020); documenta 14, Athens/Kassel, Greece/Germany (2017); and All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale (2015).

His work can be found in the collections of the Tate Modern in London and Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, among others.

He is the recipient of several awards, including the Dak’Art Biennale (2016); Prince Claus Award, Amsterdam (2008); and two awards at the African Photography Biennial in Bamako, Mali (2007). He has also participated in a number of residencies, including the Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography, Harvard University, Cambridge, (2017) and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative (2014).

Baloji is the co-founder of Picha Encounters, a photography and video biennale in Lubumbashi.

He holds a BA in literature and social sciences from the University of Lubumbashi, DRC (2004).

Born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, he currently lives and works between Brussels and Lubumbashi.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2021

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