Akinbiyi’s primary photographic focus is large, sprawling megacities. Wandering and meandering the highways and byways in an attempt to understand and deeply engage with the modern metropolis. He works primarily in and on the four major African cities Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa and Johannesburg, but also wanders in other major cities, Khartoum, Adidis Ababa, Dakar, Bamako, to name some. European, North and South American cities are also serious destinations.
There is no one viewpoint or way of working, wandering. The work is open-ended and driven by a desire to delve as deeply as possible into the meaning, the subjectivity of every day. Akinbiyi also works as a curator and has given photographic workshops internationally – in Germany, Nigeria, Sudan, Sweden, England, the United States, and Greece.
1946, born in Oxford, England of Nigerian parents. School and university in Nigeria, England and in Germany. B.A. English, Ibadan University. He has been a freelance photographer since 1977.
1987, STERN reportage stipend to work in the cities of Lagos, Kano, and Dakar.
1993, co-founder of UMZANZSI, a cultural center in Clermont Township in Durban, South Africa.
This year 2017 he has shown in a group show at La Vilette in Paris and is one of the artists showing at documenta 14, taking place almost simultaneously in Athens and Kassel.
Akinbiyi lives in and works out of Berlin.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Goethe Institute, Johannesburg
Völkerkunde Museum, Dresden
Durhammer Galerie, Frankfurt/Main
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
La Vilette, Paris
documenta 14, Athens and Kassel
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2009 – 2014
“pret-à-partager”, Dakar, Maputo, Lagos, Cape Town, Douala, Accra, Berlin, Stuttgart
MOAD, San Francisco
2004 – 2007
AFRICA REMIX, Duesseldorf, London, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm, Johannesburg
L´Afrique par elle meme, Tervuren
Tales from a globalizing World, Geneva
4th. African Photography Encounters, Bamako
Africa Apart, NGBK, Berlin
AFRICAS AND THE CITY, CCCB, Barcelona
Goethe Institute, Lagos
PORTRÄT AFRIKA, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
MALOKA – documenta Halle, Kassel
ILANGA – New African Images, Kassel
b/w portfolio in Monopol, Berlin
co-author of „dienacht“ photography magazine, special editor, Leipzig, Germany
co-author of “Just Ask!”, Kerber Publishers, Germany
long text/interview in “African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work” edited by J. Grabski and C. Magee, Indiana University Press, Indiana.
b/w reportage “Lagos: All Roads” in “Afropolis” catalogue, Cologne
monograph “Neue Nachbarschaften” with short text. Bayreuth
b/w reportage, images and text in “pret-à-partager” catalogue, Stuttgart.
curatorial text on the exhibition “Spot on – Bamako 2007” at IFA, Berlin and Stuttgart
curatorial text on German contemporary photography in the catalogue to the 5th. African Photography Encounters, Bamako.
color reportage and text in “Tales from a globalizing World” catalogue, London.
b/w reportage, portfolio and text in “Africas and the City” catalogue, Barcelona.
b/w reportage and curatorial text on Nigerian contemporary photography in the catalogue to the 4th. African Photography Encounters, Bamako.
b/w reportage and text in PORTRÄT AFRIKA catalogue, Berlin
b/w reportage in “Anthology of African Photography”, Paris.
b/w reportege in REVUE NOIR 30
b/w reportage in DU 12/1, Zurich, Switzerland
b/w reportage in PHOTONEWS, Hamburg.
EUROPEAN PHOTOGRAPHY 8
CAMERA 1/8O (Luzern, Switzerland)