The ‘Also Known As Africa’ fair expands to Los Angeles

The 'Also Known As Africa' (AKAA), a contemporary art and design fair, founded by Victoria Mann in Paris in 2015, is expanding and launching a new edition of its event in Los Angeles.

AKKA has gained recognition for its focus on artists from Africa and its diaspora, and its Executive Director, Victoria Mann, expressed her enthusiasm about bringing this groundbreaking fair to this city: “Los Angeles is one of the most dynamic art centers in the world today and we saw an opportunity to engage with it in a new dialogue through our unique curated and commercial exhibition.” 


Since 2015, the American market has welcomed the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York, an event initially founded in London with an edition in Marrakech.


Alice Mann, Siphithemba Mshengu, Tshwane, 2019. © Alice Mann, courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY. Troy Makaza, Mapping the Unreasonable Part 2, 2022. © Troy Makaza, courtesy First Floor Gallery Harare.


Running from the 2nd to the 12th of May 2024, this AKAA: LA  will feature more than 80 artists, galleries and curators from around the world. This event promises to challenge traditional notions of art history and explore how curatorial practice can influence art history, as well as address the long underrepresentation of Black artists in institutions and academia. 


The event will be co-curated by AKAA Artistic Director Armelle Dakouo and independent curator and writer Allison Glenn. “We are committed to writing a new narrative, to creating and transmitting an archive that will contribute to the writing of art history,” said Dakouo. “As we examine the role curation plays in the perception and visibility of an art scene, we invite artists to explore their space of expression necessary to the development of those that shall follow.”


This hybrid event will take place in South LA and across the city. It will also occupy the 5-acre campus at The Beehive, a cultural hub providing access to education, culture, and technology. While the list of participating artists, galleries, and public programming is yet to be announced, AKAA: LA will collaborate with leading art and cultural institutions, as well as patrons in Los Angeles, to build a multidisciplinary platform and connect the city’s diverse communities. 


The AKAA Paris edition will be held from the 20th to the 22nd of October 2023, at the Carreau du Temple.


Cover image: Turiya Magadlela, ilife ifana nama crayon ukuthi kanjani Nami angazi', from the Inequalities Series, 2022.Courtesy Kalashnikovv Gallery.