The video „Akaba-Mbele“ is about tribal marks in Togo. The white lines appearing and disappearing on the face of the man in the video, represent tribal marks from different ethnic groups in Togo. The marks are used for identification, beautification and for traditional medical treatment. Togo, a small country of 7 million people in West Africa, has more than 25 ethnic groups. Tribal marks are part of our cultural heritage.

BY  Abdoul Ganiou Dermani (DE)

Abdoul-Ganiou Dermani was born in Togo and currently lives in Stuttgart (Germany). Graduated from the College of Arts and Crafts in Kpalimé (Togo), his artistic practice encompasses painting, drawing, mixed media, photography and video. His work deals with African identities, as well as social and global issues. His exhibitions include the IV Bienal del Sur in Caracas, Venezuela (2021); Ostrale Biennale O21 in Dresden, Germany (2021); 7 th Biennial of Performance in Bogota, Colombia (2020-2021); London Art Biennale in London, UK (2020); 23 rd Encounters Traverse Video in Toulouse, France (2020); 26 th FIAV in Casablanca, Morocco (2020); 22 nd Postcards from the Edge at Bortolami Gallery in New York City (2020); 13 th Havana Biennial/ FIVAC Festival in Cuba (2019); WNDX Festival of Moving Image in Winnipeg, Canada (2019); the 1 st Video Art Forum in Dammam, Saudi Arabia (2018); 18 th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh in Dhaka (2018); NSK State Pavilion at the 57 th Venice Biennale in Italy (2017); Time is Love.10 at ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany (2017); Ephesus Video Art Program at Pera Museum in Istanbul, Turkey (2016); "Protest" at Hazard Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa (2015), among others. He has earned numerous prestigious awards for his work, including the Leonardo Da Vinci Prize 2020 in Florence, Italy; the Artfacts Performance Award 2019 and 2020 in Berlin, Germany; the Best Video Art Prize at the 17 th Film Festival "Zoom-Zblizenia" 2014 in Jelenia Gora, Poland.