Nana Adusei-Poku, PhD, is Assistant Professor in African Diasporic Art History in the Department of History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. She was previously Associate Professor and Luma Foundation Fellow at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York. She is the author of Taking Stakes in the Unknown: Tracing Post-Black Art (2021), editor of Reshaping the Field: Art of the African Diaspora on Display (2022), and her articles have been published in Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, e-flux, Kunstforum International, Flash Art, L’Internationale, and darkmatter. She curated Performances of Nothingness (Academy of Arts, Berlin, 2018) and Black Melancholia (Hessel Museum Bard College, New York, 2022).
A third-generation chef, Michael Adé Elégbèdé grew up with his mother’s and grandmother’s work running local restaurants that also served as cooking schools for young women. Elégbèdé initially studied sciences at The University of Illinois at Chicago but found his true calling when he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone and went on to work with remarkable chefs across the US including Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park and Nomad Restaurant. After thirteen years away, Chef Elégbèdé returned home to explore the diverse cultures and traditions that make up Nigerian cuisine. He has traveled to many remote areas, experiencing, documenting, and learning the unique nature of the cuisine and its ingredients. He currently runs an experiential restaurant test kitchen in Lagos called ÌTÀN (meaning story or history in Yoruba), where stories of the Nigerian culture, culinary traditions, and ingredients are narrated through the medium of food.
Toyin Ojih Odutola is known for her multimedia drawings and works on paper which explore the malleability of identity and the possibilities in visual storytelling. Interested in the topography of skin, Ojih Odutola has a distinctive style of mark-making using ballpoint pens, pencils, pastels, and charcoal. This signature technique involves building up layers on the page, creating compositions that reinvent and reinterpret the traditions of portraiture. Ojih Odutola credits the development of her style from using pen, which holds a special significance through its function as a writing tool, as her work is also akin to fiction. She often spends months crafting narratives that unfold through series of artworks like the chapters of a book.
Selly Raby Kane is a Senegalese artist, filmmaker, and fashion designer who launched her eponymous brand in 2012 with the goal to disrupt the codes and trends of Senegalese fashion. Influenced by fantasy and cinematography, her avant-garde line has garnered international media coverage in publications such as Vogue, TIME magazine, OkayAfrica, and AFROPUNK, and has been exhibited at the Museum of North Carolina, the Louisiana Museum, MoMA, and the Guggenheim. Kane’s aesthetic combines collage techniques, surreal imagery, and Senegalese immaterial heritage. Deeply inspired by the city, her fantasy films explore Dakar’s urban archive and immortalize its underground aesthetic. Kane’s latest creation is the short film TANG JËR, set in a typical street restaurant in which an eclectic community shares their perspectives on life.