Iolanda Pensa

Iolanda Pensa (1975) is a researcher and art critic.

Training. University degree in Medieval art history at the Catholic University of Milan (Literature and Philosophy, Modern Literature, 2003). Ph.D. in Social anthropology and ethnology and in Territorial government and planning at the EHESS École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Parigi in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (2011).

Experiences. Researcher for “Africa e Mediterraneo” (2002-2006). Founder and board member of iStrike Foundation in Rotterdam (2005-2008). Professor of Art economy at NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano (2007-2011) and correspondent for Africa for “Domus” magazine (2011-2012). Scientific director at lettera27 Foundation in Milan (2007-2012) for the projects “WikiAfrica: Increasing the quality and quantity of African content on Wikipedia” and “Share Your Knowledge: Creative Commons and Wikipedia for Cultural Institutions”. Researcher at the Laboratory of Visual Culture / Department for Environment Constructions and Design / SUPSI University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (2013-), Artistic director of Associazione Amici del Museo delle Grigne Onlus (2007-), Coordinator of Ecomuseo delle Grigne (2010-), lead Wikimania Esino Lario 2016.

Research interests. Systems of knowledge production and distributions in Africa; innovative interfaces for education; assessment of cultural institutions, GLAMs and public art; the impact of international grant-makers on culture in Africa; Wikipedia; the Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art. Main publications:

  • I’ll have a project. How international grants and cultural cooperation have shaped contemporary African art into a project made of objectives, activities and expected results in “Seismopolite Journal of Art and Politics”, 2013. EnglishNorwegian.
  • The Power of Wikipedia: Legitimacy and Control in “PMS Reader Power Money Sex”, Chimurenga and Open Society Institute of Southern Africa, 2012. Englishoriginal version in English.
  • Make it sexy. La promozione dell’arte contemporanea africana in L’arte etnica tra cultura e mercato, eds. Guido Candela and Maurizio Biordi, Skira, 2007, pp. 93-131. Versione originale in italiano.
  • Les biennales et la géographie: Les biennales de Venise, du Caire et de Dakar in Créations artistiques contemporaines en pays d’Islam : des arts en tension, ed. Jocelyne Dakhlia, Paris, Kimé éditions, 2006, pp. 573-588. Français.

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