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Questions of Practice: Bisi Silva on considering “the Local” and “the Global” in Curatorial Practice

In 2016, we asked Nigerian curator Bisi Silva how she perceives “the local” within the context of her international curatorial practice. She shared with us her view of the local as “an expanded field of engagement and practice,” while simultaneously emphasizing her interest in the specificity of location and a localized artistic practice that allows audiences to identify with experiences that come out of “a very, very local set of realities,” she said.

Bisi Silva was an independent curator based in Lagos, Nigeria. She was founder and artistic director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA), and served as artistic director of ART X Lagos Art Fair—West Africa’s first international art fair (2016). Silva co-curated The Progress of Love, a transcontinental collaboration between the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO; and CCA (2012–13), as well as the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece (2009).