Sammy Baloji

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Sammy Baloji is a photographer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He works in Lubumbashi and Brussels, and held exhibitions in Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Bilbao, Cape Town and Bamako.[1][2]


Baloji was born in Lubumbashi on December 29, 1978. He graduated in literature and human science at the University of Lubumbashi.[3][4]

After his study he first began to work as a cartoonist. Later he specialized in video art and photography. He made much of his work in his own province of Katanga. Recurrent in his work are ethnographic exploitation, architecture and urbanism, like the exploitation of man en environment in the Congolese urban landscape.[3]


Solo shows

  • 2010

Mémoire – Goethe-Institut Nairobi, Nairobi Mémoire by Sammy Baloji – CGP London – Cafe Gallery Projects, London

  • 2009

Katanga – Schatten der Vergangenheit – Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt/Main

Group shows

  • 2014

Present Tense – Centro de Arte Moderna – CAM – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa – Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Die Göttliche Komödie. Himmel, Hölle, Fegefeuer aus Sicht afrikanischer Gegenwartskünstler, The Divine Comedy. Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists – Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt/Main

  • 2013

Conversation Piece – Mu.ZEE, Oostende

La Otra Bienal De Arte 2013 – La Otra Bienal, Bogota

Witness/Témoin – Espace doual´art, Douala

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa – National Museum of African Art – Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

No Limit 2, Une Œuvre / Un Artiste – Galerie Imane Farès, Paris

  • 2012

Newtopia – Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Mechelen

Le surréel Congo – Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Dortmund , Dortmund

Status 24 – Dokumente Von Heute – Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur

All That Fits: The Aesthetics of Journalism – QUAD Gallery, Derby

Project 35 – Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt – Centre d'Art, Biel/Bienne

Environment and Object – Recent African Art – Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, VT

  • 2011

Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment – The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

Level 2 Gallery: Contested Terrains – Tate Modern, London

Project 35 – Gertrude contemporary art spaces, Melbourne, VIC

Present Tense – Gulbenkian. Próximo Futuro, Lisbon

Artists in Residence. Sammy Baloji & Patrick Mudekereza – Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

Meeting Points 6 – Locus Agonistes: Practices and Logics of the Civic – Beirut Art Center, Beirut

ARS 11 – Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki

Possible Cities: Africa In Photography and Video – Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery (CFG) – Haverford College, Haverford, PA

  • 2010

Prix Pictet / Earth – Gallery of Photography, Dublin

Muestra Anual Xxiii Mam ChiloÉ – MAM – Museo de Arte Moderno Chiloé, Castro

  • 2009

Périfériks – CAN – Centre d'Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel

Spot On… Bamako – Vii. Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie – ifa-Galerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart

  • 2008

InVideo: Lands And Skies – Spazio Oberdan, Milan

Spot on...- ifa-Galerie Berlin, Berlin

The Messenger – Cultuurcentrum Brugge, Bruges

  • 2007

Congo Contemporain – Monos Gallery, Liège

TRANS CAPE – contemporary African art on the move – Trans Cape Africa, Cape Town


In 2007 Baloji was twice awarded at the African Photography Encounters in Bamako, Mali, with the Prize Africa in Creation (Prix Afrique en Creation) and the Prize for the Image (Prix pour l’image).[6] In 2009 het was honored with a Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands, for "his highly original inscription of the painful history of human and environmental exploitation into the present-day landscape, for bringing Congo's current realities to an international platform, for his important contribution to the memory of the Congo providing a new reading of the present, and for his challenging demonstration that development can only be realized after duly taking into account the traumas of the past."[7]


  1. ^ Témoin Africa, Sammy Baloji Né le 29 décembre 1978. Works and lives in Lubumbashi/Bruxelles
  2. ^ Afrika Museum, Sammy Baloji & Patrick Mudekereza (in Dutch)
  3. ^ a b Brakke Grond (2010) biography
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^ PICTET. portfolios
  7. ^ Prince Claus Fund (2009) biography[permanent dead link]