Botswana’s Kitso Lynn Lelliott Wins 2024 Henrike Grohs Art Award

Kitjo Lynn Lelliot, I was her and she was me and those we might become 1, Installtion View Chamarande. Photo: Henri Perrot.

Kitso Lynn Lelliott from Botswana has been announced as the winner of the prestigious Henrike Grohs Art Award for the year 2024. This award, initiated by the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with the Grohs family, celebrates outstanding artists from the African continent. Kitso Lynn Lelliott will receive a cash prize of 20,000€ along with an additional 10,000€ for the publication of her work.

The selection process was rigorous, with 690 applications received from 40 different African countries, marking the highest number of submissions ever for this award. The jury for this edition, comprising Marie Helene Pereira, Meriem Berrada, and Tandazani Dhlakama, deliberated thoughtfully before announcing Kitso Lynn Lelliott as the winner.

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Kitso Lynn Lelliott (© Kitso Lynn Lelliott)

Kitso Lynn Lelliott’s practice moves between video installation, film and writing. She is preoccupied with enunciations from spaces beyond epistemic power and the crisis such epistemically disobedient articulations cause to hegemony. Her work interrogates the ‘real’ as it is shaped through contesting epistemologies, their narratives and the form these took over the Atlantic during the formative episode that shaped the modern age. Her work is an enactment of enunciating from elision and between historically subjugated subjectivities, privileging South-South relations in relation to yet imaginatively and epistemologically unmediated by the Global North. In 2017 she was laureate of the Iwalewahaus art award and was a featured guest artist at The Flaherty Seminar 2018. In 2019 Lelliott won the NIHSS award for best visual arts. She was with the CHR until 2022 when she took up a senior lectureship with the University of the Witwatersrand.

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Wambui Kamiru Collymore (© Lucy Maina)

In addition to Kitso Lynn Lelliott’s win, Wambui Kamiru Collymore from Kenya and Frederick Ebenezer Okai from Ghana were recognized as the runners-up, each receiving a cash prize of 5,000€. Johannes Ebert, Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut, extended his congratulations to all the winners, highlighting the exceptional talent and creativity demonstrated by the awardees.

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Frederick Ebenezer Okai (© Samuel Baah Kortey)

The Henrike Grohs Art Award, named in memory of the former Head of Goethe-Institut in Abidjan, Henrike Grohs, aims to promote international cultural exchange and support outstanding artistic talent. This year’s edition has seen a remarkable increase in applications, reflecting the growing prominence of African artists on the global stage.

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