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Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. Photo: Raisa Galofre.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. Photo: Raisa Galofre.

Curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung Awarded Order of Merit of Berlin

Berlin’s governing mayor, Michael Müller, on Thursday named Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung to the Order of Merit of Berlin, conferring upon him the city-state’s highest honor, Artnews reports. The Cameroon-born Ndikung, who is founder and curator of respected Berlin gallery Savvy Contemporary, was quick to share the glory of the accolade, awarded annually to a handful of Berlin citizens deemed to have made important contributions to society, with others.

“This is a recognition of the work Savvy Contemporary has been doing over the past decade,” he said in a statement. “It is important to say that there is still very much to be done and with the support of a very motivated, intelligent and diligent Savvy Contemporary team, as well as with the people of Berlin and beyond. But of utmost importance is that this medal is dedicated to the people of Anglophone Cameroon, who have been under a state of war that has led to hundreds of thousands of internally and externally displaced people.”

Ndikung, who holds a doctorate degree in medical biotechnology and a postdoc degree in biophysics, is the artistic director of the 2020 Sonsbeek biennial in Amsterdam; last year, he served as artistic director of the Bamako Encounters photography biennial and curated Finland’s pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. In 2017, he was curator at large for Adam Szymzczyk’s much-talked-about Documenta 14.

“The main concern of the curator, author and critic is to establish a decentralizing and egalitarian concept of art and culture among producers and recipients, especially in the Western hemisphere,” noted the Berlin State in a statement. “For this reason, the internationally renowned curator and theorist founded the project space Savvy Contemporary to address postcolonial discourse and intercultural dialogue. With his work, Prof. Dr. Bonaventure Ndikung makes an extraordinary contribution to Berlin’s development into a cosmopolitan, colorful, and solidary metropolis.”