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2024 Judges

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Ngaire Blankenberg

Founder & Director, Institute for Creative Repair

Ngaire Blankenberg is the founder and director of the Institute for Creative Repair- a new initiative that is working to repair individuals, communities, institutions and cities, through arts, culture and heritage. Previously, she was the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (NMAFA) from 2021-2023.


Under her leadership, Ngaire began transforming NMAFA into a 21st Century Global African Art Museum with a vision to contribute to more regenerative art ecosystems, underpinned by African philosophies. She was instrumental in issues of restitution; in her first year as director, she led the Smithsonian’s efforts to return the ‘Benin Bronzes’ in its collections back to Nigeria and was co-lead in the pan-Smithsonian Collections Stewardship Strategic Initiative.

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Sean O'Toole

Writer, Editor and Curator

Sean O’Toole is writer, editor and curator based in Cape Town. His books include the biography Irma Stern: African in Europe – European in Africa (2021) and short story collection The Marquis of Mooikloof and Other Stories (2006). He has edited three volumes of essays, including African Futures (2016) and The Journey (2020). His essays have appeared in monographs by, among others, Michael Armitage, David Goldblatt, Gareth Nyandoro, Brett Seiler, Penny Siopis and James Webb. He is a past editor of Art South Africa (now Art Africa) and co-founded the urban-affairs magazine Cityscapes. A working journalist principally focussed on art, photography and architecture, he has published well over 1000 news articles, reviews, features and commentary in print and online. His recent curatorial projects include Congress (2021) at Norval Foundation and Photo book! Photo-book! Photobook! (2022) at A4 Arts Foundation. He has adjudicated numerous awards, including the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, Daimler Award for South African Photography and Frieze Writer’s Prize. He is the founder of independent publisher Extemporary Press.

2022 & 2023 Judges

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Marie-Anne Yemsi

Independent exhibition curator and contemporary art consultant

Born in Germany to German and Cameroonian parents, Yemsi is a political science graduate  who lives and works in Paris. Through Agent Créatif(s), her own agency, Yemsi has developed a renowned expertise in cultural production and art consulting. 

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Bonolo Kavula

Artist and winner of the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2021- 2022.

Kavula is the winner of the inaugural Norval Sovereign African Art Prize in 2022. She obtained a BA(FA) from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2014, majoring in Printmaking.

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Past Judge: Khanya Mashabela, curator at A4 Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa

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