Salimata Diop is a curator, art critic and composer. She grew up in Saint-Louis and Dakar in Senegal. Her multicultural heritage and passion for culture, history and the arts led her to specialise in curating contemporary art and she is now based in Dakar and La Rochelle (France).
From 2012 to 2013, she co-directed the documentary series African Masters for The Africa Channel, revealing the studios of artists including Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui, Mary Sibande, William Kentridge, Wangechi Mutu, and Ousmane Sow. Salimata Diop then directed the programming of the Africa Centre in London from 2014 to 2015, before being appointed artistic director of the contemporary art fair AKAA (Also Known as Africa) at the Carreau du Temple in Paris, where she organised the program- ming of the first three editions from 2015 to 2017.
Together with collector Amadou Diaw, she created the MuPho (Musée de la Photographie de Saint-Louis du Sénégal), which she directed from 2017 to 2018, with the aim of building and establi- shing a new link for the recognition, documentation and dissemination of 20th and 21st century African photographers.
She then pursued her career as a curator through a number of exhibitions and publications. These include Art Africa Fair (2017), Cape Town, for which she organised and curated the Bright Young Things prize, revealing the work of artist Laeïla Adjovi – future Grand Prix winner of the Dakar Biennale in 2018-, La Villa Rouge (2018), Les Chants invincibles (2022) as part of the OFF of the Dakar Biennale, and more recently Pourquoi j’ai arraché ma Peau (Why I tore off my skin), the first solo exhibition of French-Cameroonian artist Beya Gilles Gacha at the Tropiques Atrium in Fort de France, in June 2023.
Salimata Diop holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Literatures, Languages and Civilisations (CPGE Maison d’Education de la Légion d’Honneur & La Sorbonne Paris IV), and a Master’s degree in the History of Art and Collections (Warwick University & IESA).
She was named one of the « 50 most influential Africans » by Jeune Afrique magazine (2018), and one of the « avant-garde Frenchwomen under 30 » by Vanity Fair magazine (2018), and will join the directory of experts of the Club XXIème in 2021.