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Meet The Artists Changing The Face Of Contemporary African Art

For one week in October the 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair took over Somerset House in London.

This four-day exhibition champions diverse arts from across the continent, and over the last four years it has emerged as the most prominent European art fair to centre around Africa and its diaspora.

It showcases over 40 galleries presenting more than 130 African and African diaspora artists hailing from a unique range of geographical backgrounds, including Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco.

These artists use various mediums to discuss contemporary African art while challenging notions of colonialism, cultural appropriation and representation.

Serge Attukwei-Clottey

Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei-Clottey works across installation, performance and sculpture.

He often up-cycles common materials to explore personal and family matters, as well as narratives which tackle cultural issues relating to trade and migration.

This is best seen in Afrogallonism, an original arts concept which comments on consumption within modern Africa with the use of yellow jerry-can containers.

Serge Attukwei-Clottey (Photograph: Matthew Kirby)

Serge Attukwei-Clottey (Photo: Matthew Kirby)

Last year Attukwei-Clottey organised a mass demonstration in which thousands of men took to the streets of Ghana wearing their late-mothers clothes, a political response to local gender restrictions.

As the founder of the GoLokal performance collection Attukwei-Clottey also runs an annual campaign running president in Ghana.

Barthelemy Toguo

Cameroon-born artist Barthelemy Toguo unearths the bizarre nature of borders through exploring how travelling can affect your sense of identity, freedom, human relations and emotions.

His drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography, performances, and videos centre around the people and places he has encountered in the course of his long-established career.

Barthelemy Toguo (Photograph: Fabrice Gibert/Galerie Lelong)

Barthelemy Toguo (Photo: Fabrice Gibert/Galerie Lelong)

Back in 2013 Toguo set-up the Bandjoun station, a self-sufficient non-profit which spans two buildings and an open-air grass-covered coffee plantation the local youth.

He now gives out volunteer-made coffee beans in a politically and artistically-charged statement as to the problems with outsourcing agriculture, which impoverishes the farmers of the Cameroon.

Victor Ehikhamenor

Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor is an award-winning visual artist, writer and photographer.

He draws influences from African traditions, Western beliefs, memories, nostalgia and much of the work done by both villagers and members of his extensive family-tree.

His grandmother was a cloth weaver, his grandfather a blacksmith and his mother a local artist.

Along with featuring in a bunch of solo exhibitions Ehikhamenor's poems, photographers and paintings have also been used in editorials and on the covers on numerous books.

Victor Ehikhamenor (Photograph: Carlos Alba)

Victor Ehikhamenor (Photo: Carlos Alba)

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Konbini and Nescafé bring you the coolest success stories
- by Nigerians, for Nigerians. Whose world is it? Yours!