Sammy Baloji

ARTIST Sammy Baloji

Photography / Video
Born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, DR of Congo
Lives and works in Brussels and Lubumbashi

Sammy Baloji explores the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the Katanga region in Congo. In order to question official versions of the Belgian colonial history, he has researched in various key archives – for example the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren in Belgium. History of art (like the watercolourist Léon Dardenne) and documentary photography blend with that of colonialism. His series of photomontages, of revisited albums confront his historical research with the human and economic actuality (such as the new invasions of these territories by companies
from Asia for instance). The juxtapositions dialogue and his series, such as Congo Far West, Kolwezi, Mémoire, are highly charged with meaning.

During “Têtes modernes”, the cycle of talks and events Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern, orchestrated at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, he invited Sammy Baloji and the musician Baloji to a conversation on 24 November 2012.

Sammy Baloji is co-founder of the Picha Encounters, a regular international exhibition in Lubumbashi – proof of his profound continued engagement in his home town.


MuZEE, Oostende

Fondation Sindika Dokolo, Luanda

Fondation Zinsou, Cotonou

Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.

CNAP Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris

Quai Branly, Paris

Artur Walther Collection, Berlin-New York



African Metropolis, una città immagineria, MAXXI, Rome, Italy
Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo, Baden, Germany


Dioramas, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Documenta 14, Athens/Kassel, Greece/Germany
Afriques Capitales, La Villette, Paris, France
802.That is where, as you heard, the elephant danced the malinga. The place where they now grow flowers, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, France


Urban Now : City Life in Congo, Sammy Baloji and Filip de Boeck, WIELS, Contemporary Art Center Brussels/Open Society Foundations, New York, USA/The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada


All the world’s futures – Curator: Okwui Enwezor, Venice Biennial, Venice,Italy
Personnes et les autres – Curator: Katerina Gregos, Belgian Pavilion, Venice Biennial, Venice,Italy


The Divine Comedy. Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists, MMK, Frankfurt


The Beautiful Time in Katanga, solo exhibition, Museum for African Art, New York, traveled to Smithsonian, Museum,Washington (2012)
Mémoire, Dilston Grove, with Autograph ABP, London, UK


Les Rencontres de Bamako
Photoquai, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris


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