Press Release



We proudly present the curator, Renny Ramakers, and participants of the 8th Biennial of São Tomé e Príncipe. This summer is the first time the event will be held as a festival, bearing the name N’GOLÁ Festival of Arts, Creation, Environment and Utopias. The new concept N'GOLÁ Festival intends to go further and extend its previous boundaries, gaining a new multidisciplinary and multicultural character, embracing not solely the visual arts, but also fashion, architecture, music, gastronomy, technology, crafts and nature. N’GOLÁ Festival will take place from the 26th of July until the 18th of August 2019.

N'GOLÁ Festival has gathered artists and performers from all around Africa and beyond to cover a multitude of topics, like the beautification of every-day life, digitalization, open borders, the environment, the expression of identity and the future of Africa.

We hope to see you in Sáo Tomé e Príncipe

learn more about the festival
Get in the mood for São Tomé e Príncipe.




N’GOLÁ Festival’s new concept is outlined by the curator of this edition, Renny Ramakers, an Amsterdam based art historian. She is co-founder and director of Droog, the renowned experimental design initiative from the Netherlands. 


"I have always believed in the necessity to reimagine today's world, to offer alternative perspectives, and in the power of art as a catalyst to create social change. I have always had faith in the power of social participation and critical (inter)action, and how this could contribute to a better future." - Renny Ramakers 


The quest for alternative narratives, for catalytic and transgressive works that embrace the power of beauty and expand our imagination, steered the development of het concept for N’GOLÁ Festival. Though São Tomé e Príncipe is officially part of the African continent, its main foreign ties are with one-time colonizing power Portugal and former Portuguese colonies in Africa. This motivated her to focus on art and artists from sub-Saharan Africa, with the aim of strengthening the ties between this small island group and the African mainland that is geographically so close, yet culturally so removed. Within that framework, she purposefully looked for works that could shape an alternative narrative about Africa, more positive and uplifting than is generally told.

© Wendelien Daan


Renny Ramakers is working as an independent critic and curator, and lectures worldwide. She has curated various events, and as a critic, she has contributed to international magazines and catalogues, and authored several books. A book about her life and work, Rethinking Design, written by Aaron Betsky, has been published early 2019. She was named one of the ‘150 Women Who Shake the World’ by the American magazine Newsweek and received the Dutch Royal Honors for her work.


Magadi, 2017 © Osborne Macharia 



The Openings Weekend will be celebrated in the presence of these participants: 

Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou (Togo)
Sammy Baloji & Filip de Boeck 
(DR Congo/ Belgium)
Kampire Bahana (Uganda)
Christian Benimana & MASS Design Group (Rwanda)
Blinky Bill (Kenya)
Tabi Bonney (Togo)
Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast)
Justin Dingwall (South Africa)
Omar Victor Diop (Senegal)
Sunny Dolat & The Nest Collective (Kenya)
Samuel Fosso (Cameroon)
Jan Hoek & Bobbin Case 
(The Netherlands / Uganda)

Jepchumba (Kenya)
Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya)
Lola Keyezua (Angola)
Bodys Isek Kingelez (DR Congo)
Osborne Macharia (Kenya)
Emo de Medeiros (Benin)
Sethembile Msezane (South Africa)
Emeka Okereke (Nigeria)
Salooni (Uganda)
Yves Sambu (DR Congo)
Mary Sibande (South Africa)
Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon)
Valete (Portugal)
Sarah Waiswa (Uganda)
Nikkie Wester (The Netherlands)

 Read about all the participants and their work here


For press requests, such as interviews with the curator and/or participating artist(s) and/or imageries, please contact:

During the whole duration of N'GOLÁ Festival, press, radio and television can request an accreditation by writing an email to our press office with a copy of a valid Press Card and their planned date of arrival. Please let us know at least two weeks before leaving for São Tomé e Príncipe. If the application is successful, it will then be possible to collect the pass (valid 3 days) at the Press Office at CACAU.

Download the press kit here.    

© Sunny Dolat



Friday 26 to Sunday 28 July 2019

Mark your calendars for the opening weekend of N'GOLÁ Festival, because this is the time when the most eventful and important part of the festival will happen, including many art and music performances on Friday 26 and Saturday 28 July.

Get the full program


N'GOLÁ Festival of Arts, Creation, Environment and Utopias will communicate its updated program regularly through their website:

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Check in and experience the future expressed through art, creation, music, food and more!

Copyright © N'GOLÁ 2019

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