Arts + Culture

Celebrated Senegalese Artist, Issa Samb, Has Passed Away

Senegalese interdisciplinary artist, Issa Samb, also known as, Joe Ouakam, passed away yesterday at the age of 71.

Prolific Senegalese interdisciplinary artist, Issa Samb, also known as, Joe Ouakam (after the neighborhood his was born in), passed away peacefully yesterday. He was 71.


The painter, sculptor, performance artists, playwright and poet, was one of the co-founders of Laboratoire Agit'Art, a Dakar-based collective dedicated to revitalizing African art through the examining of international forms of artistic expression and schools of thought.

Samb studied law and philosophy at the University of Dakar before dedicating his life to the arts, reports RFI Africa. He was an outspoken critic of the commercialization of Senegalese art, and he was one of the first artists to openly critique the literary philosophy of Négritude.

According to French news outlet, Le Quotidien, the artists once vehemently called out mercantilism in the art world during a video interview. "The beauty of the world is art and culture," he said. "Now the so-called artists are selling this beautiful heritage left to us by our ancestors."

Samb's stand-out style and vibrant aesthetic made him a recognizable figure in his community and beyond. His home in Dakar is a city treasure that features a courtyard full of unique artifacts. It's known as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals, which will hopefully be preserved long after his passing.

In 2010 the National Gallery of Dakar exhibited a retrospective on the artist's life and career.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

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Jojo Abot is rounding out a strong year which has seen her tour South Africa, release the NGIWUNKULUNKULU EP and work with institutions like the New Museum, Red Bull Sound Select and MoMA on her art and performances.

Jojo is now sharing her latest music video for "Nye VeVe SeSe," a song featured on her iPhone-only production project, Diary Of A Traveler.

"Nye Veve Sese is an invitation to let go of the burden of pain and suffering that keeps us from becoming our best and greatest selves," a statement from Jojo's team reads. "Asking the question of why pain is pleasurable to both the one in pain and the source of the pain. Often time the two being one and the same."

Watch her new "meditative piece," which was shot in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, below.

Jojo Abot will be playing her final US show of the year in New York City alongside Oshun on October 26 at Nublu 151. Grab your tickets here.

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