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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

German Government Awards a Nigerian Art Curator a National Honor

After forty years, Akinbiyi Akinbode, a Nigerian art curator living in Germany gets the German government’s Bundesverdienstkreuz honor (Federal Cross of Merit). 

President Frank Walter Steinmeier, on October 1st, awards a Nigerian-born Berlin-based curator, photographer, and author, alongside thirteen other citizens the Bundesverdienstkreuz honor for their exceptional contribution in the political, economic, cultural, intellectual, and humanitarian aspects of life. 

Marking the German Unity Day, Akinbode was one of the citizens bestowed with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Following the award ceremony, President Steinmeier said the recipients, comprising six women and eight men, made notable contributions to the arts and cultural life of the country.

Even though there were restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, their extraordinary acts promoted unity and social cohesion.

Akinbode Akinbiyi, born in Oxford, England, in 1946 to Nigerian parents, receives a laudation reading, “No part of the world can progress without the other parts. In times of pandemic, we are all more aware of this than ever. And this one, whole world is what photographer, author, and curator shows with his very own visual language “. 

After completing his literature and English studies at the University of Ibadan Nigeria, Akinbode Akinbiyi moved to Germany.

He obtained a Ph.D. in literature at the University of Heidelberg in the 1970s, where he has stayed till date. 

In 1972 through self-taught, he trained as a photographer, and in a matter of short time, he turned into a well-known global African photographer. 

Akinbiyi’s significant concentration is on the quick-changing megacities of the African continent like Lagos, Cairo, Dakar, and Johannesburg, focusing on the disesteem everyday life of the people, seemingly without personal explanation of the person taking the picture. 

Akinbiyi’s work has been published in various journals and showcased at Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, Havana, Philadelphia, Johannesburg, Berlin, and Dresden exhibitions. 

In addition, he is a one-time curator of different exhibitions of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations.

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