About The Africa Institute
The Africa Institute is an interdisciplinary academic research institute dedicated to the study, research and documentation of Africa, its people and its cultures; its complex past, present and future; and its manifold connections with the wider world. It is a globally oriented institution with a focus on the humanities and social sciences that will have a postgraduate studies programme offering both masters and PhD degrees with the aim of training a new generation of critical thinkers in African and African diaspora studies.
Africa Hall and the Future Campus of The Africa Institute
The original Africa Hall building was inaugurated on the same day as the old Municipality’s one in 1976, but the original buildings of both were first built in the early 1970s as part of a wave of government modernist buildings of the time. It was named Africa Hall because the venue’s first cultural and political event was the Arab-African Symposium that was inaugurated on Tuesday 14 December 1976. The new Africa Hall, which is rebuilt in the same site of the old one that was demolished in 2015), will be part of the future complex of buildings for The Africa Institute to be designed by the renowned Ghanaian British architect, Sir David Adjaye. The Africa Hall will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, and lectures, film screening and staged plays related to the activities of the Africa Institute and beyond, and to serve as part of an outreach to the larger community of Sharjah, UAE and beyond.
Staff and Contacts (President and Director)
Hoor Al Qasimi
The Africa Institute
Hoor Al Qasimi is the President of The Africa Institute. She also serves as President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, is a curator and practising artist who received her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002), a Diploma in Painting from the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2005) and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2008). In 2003, she was appointed curator of Sharjah Biennial 6 and has since continued as the Biennial Director. Al Qasimi serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Ashkal Alwan, Beirut and Darat Al Funun, Amman. She is President of the International Biennial Association; Chair of the Advisory Board for the College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah and member of the Advisory Board for Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi. She is currently a member of the Prince Claus Award Committee (2016–current) and served as a member of the jury for the Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art (2018). Al Qasimi has previously served on the juries and prize panels for the Maria Lassnig Prize (2017), Mediacity Seoul Prize (2016), Hepworth Wakefield Prize for Sculpture (2016), Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale Shorts (2016), Videobrasil (2015), Dubai International Film Festival (2014) and Benesse Prize (2013). Recent curatorial projects include major retrospectives Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist (2017–2018), Yayoi Kusama: Dot Obsessions (2016–2017), Robert Breer: Time Flies (2016–2017), Simone Fattal (2016) and Farideh Lashai (2016) as well as 1980–Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, UAE Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Rasheed Araeen: Before and After Minimalism (2014) and Susan Hefuna: Another Place (2014). Al Qasimi was co-curator for Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Two Suns in a Sunset (2016), exhibited not only in Sharjah but also at Jeu de Paume, Paris; Haus der Kunst, Munich and IVAM, Valencia. She co-curated the major survey shows When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938–1965) (2016) and The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945–Present) (2016–2017).
Salah M. Hassan
The Africa Institute
Salah M. Hassan is the Director of The Africa Institute. Hassan is the Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities, and professor of art history and visual culture in the Africana Studies and Research Center, and the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University. He is also a Professor of History of Art in African and African American Studies and Fine Art at Brandeis University. He served as the Madeleine Haas Russell Professor, Departments of African and Afro-American Studies and Fine Arts, Brandeis University (2016-2017). Hassan is an art historian, art critic and curator. He is an editor and founder of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press) and served as consulting editor for African Arts. He currently serves as member of the editorial advisory board of Atlantica and Journal of Curatorial Studies. He authored, edited and co-edited several books including Darfur and the Crisis of Governance: A Critical Reader (2009), and Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008); Unpacking Europe (2001); Authentic/Ex-Centric (2001); Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (1997); and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (1992). He guest edited a special issue of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly, entitled African Modernism (2010). His book Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist, was published in 2012 in conjunction with the retrospective of the Sudanese artist, Ibrahim El Salahi exhibited at The Tate Modern in London this past summer (July-October, 2013) after premiering at the Sharjah Art Museum (in March 2013) in Sharjah, UAE. Most recently, Hassan edited and introduced, Ibrahim El-Salahi: Prison Notebook (New York and Sharjah, MOMA and SAF Publications, 2018). He has contributed essays to journals, anthologies and exhibition catalogues of contemporary art. He has curated several international exhibitions such as Authentic/Ex-Centric (49th Venice Biennale, 2001), Unpacking Europe (Rotterdam, 2001-02), and 3x3: Three Artists/Three: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z (Dak'Art, 2004). He also curated several exhibitions for the Sharjah Art Foundation including The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan, 1945-2016 (2016-2017), and When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938–1965) (2016). He is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, such as the J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship, as well as major grants from the Sharjah Art Foundation, Ford, Rockefeller, Andy Warhol and Prince Claus Fund foundations.