Chairperson of the Judging Panel
Michele is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the civic & social organization industry. She has many years of experience in Nonprofit Organizations, Theatre, Event Management, Fundraising, and the Visual Arts. Michelle was CEO at Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) – a public-private partnership between the corporate sector and government’s Department of Arts and Culture, with the aim of developing strategic partnerships between the business and arts sectors in South Africa. The BASA focus remains on Shared Value as a business and arts opportunity, and Arts-Based Initiatives in the corporate sector and broader society.
“Every day a new wave to surf”
Head of International Development – Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens
Aliki started working at the Museum of Cycladic Art in 2015 as Head of International Development. In this position, she founded the International Young Patrons program and has been chairing it since then. Her other focus has been the development, planning and funding of all access and social responsibility programs of the museum. Other areas of activity include strategic development and promotion of the Museum in Greece and abroad, fundraising, young patron trips and events.
She also sits on the boards of St. Catherine Foundation and of Elpida Youth.
“Don’t try to rationalize intuition!”
Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), NIG
Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria. Established in 2007, African Artists’ Foundation aims to encourage the highest standard of art in Africa through organising art exhibitions, festivals, competitions, residencies, and workshops with the aim of unearthing and developing talent, creating societal awareness, and providing a platform to express creativity.
Nwagbogu was elected as the Director of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa, from June 2018 to May 2019. The Zeitz MOCAA colloquially referred to as “Africa’s Tate Modern” is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum with over one hundred galleries dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from Africa and it’s Diaspora. Nwagbogualso serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography that brings leading local and international photographers in dialogue with multifaceted stories of Africa.
“If we genuinely believed in the divinity of all peoples, then it is easily understood that art plays a crucial role in aiding our understanding of this simple concept of a common humanity”.
Curator of contemporary art and design and Deputy Director of Delfina Foundation
Before working at the Delfina Foundation, Salma worked for the last eight years as the Contemporary Middle East Curator at the V&A, where she was responsible for Middle Eastern art and design programming at the museum, co-curated the biennial international Jameel Prize exhibition, and co-founded the Culture in Crisis stream. Previous to this she worked at Art Dubai from its inauguration in 2007 to 2011 as Head of Artists’ Projects, as well as Artistic Director of Contemparabia, a series of cultural itineraries for museum groups.
Salma is a graduate of Cambridge University with a BA, MA in History of Art and has an MA in Arts Policy and Cultural Management from Birkbeck University.
Strategy & Ops – Google | Project Lead – Google Arts & Culture, UK
Suhair leads on global initiatives and partnerships at Google Arts & Culture. Currently based in London, her work focuses on the nexus of art, culture, storytelling and technology.
A long-time Googler, she was previously based with Google out of both Singapore and Mountain View, California. She studied at Cornell and Harvard University.
“I strongly believe in opening access and opportunity to artists, designers and creatives in Africa and I am excited to help partner to support them and bring their work to new audiences around the world”
Job title: “I don’t do titles, but am generally described as a “Craftsman, artist, architect, environmental designer, and grower of trees”
Facebook: Allan Schwarz
South African born Allan Schwarz – former MIT professor and teacher at The Centre for Advanced Visual Studies – brings a lifetime of experience and knowledge to the judging panel. His collective interdisciplinary roles as architect, designer, artist, tropical forest ecologist, sustainable development consultant and social entrepreneur all contributed to his fellowships with Ashoka and Beautiful Soul Africa and his impressive architectural career included working on projects ranging from Harumi Island in Tokyo Bay to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique to South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan.
Schwarz is the founder of the Mezimbite Forest Centre – the first and largest indigenous trees nursery and reforestation programme in Mozambique. It was from a young age – when he crafted cabinets and worked with wood – that he developed a huge respect for this biological resource, and in adulthood, it has influenced his sustainable development concept: conservation by design.
“One of the things about working with wood,” says Schwarz, “is that you’re designing with a biological resource, not a capital resource, and from day one you are dependent on how that thing grows and therefore the issues of sustainability are substantial.”
Marlon Parker has a passion for technology and innovation that has influenced his work and led to being the founder of the Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs). RLabs is a global movement that have inspired replication of the model in 23 countries and impacted more than 13.5 Million people since its inception. He has been listed as one of the 100 World Class South Africans, an alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders initiative, a honorary faculty member of the International School of Digital Transformation and an adjunct faculty member at UCT Graduate School of Business. He was also selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Dangote Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow for his work in Social Entrepreneurship. He was the co-founder of JamiiX that was the backbone to one of the largest mobile chat counseling networks in the world with more than 4.5 million people being reached since its inception. He co-founded the Reach Trust that led to providing educational services via mobile phones to more than 10 million youth across South Africa. He was the Lead SA Hero of 2015 and was listed by Quartz as one of the African Innovators of 2017. Marlon has done extensive work with organisations such as Mozilla, BBC, Facebook, Finnish Foreign Ministry, UNWomen, Naspers, WeChat, World Bank, Sanlam, Shoprite and Accenture.
“Your circumstances should not determine your destiny”