Ambassador of Italy to South Africa
Paolo Cuculi obtained a Master’s Degree in Political Science at «LUISS» University of Rome.
He entered the Italian diplomatic service in 1992, working in the Directorate-General for Personnel. In 1994, he was appointed Second Secretary for Trade in Khartoum, and in 1997 he moved to the Embassy in Bangkok as First Secretary. In July 2000, he was appointed First Secretary at the Italian Mission to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
After returning to the Ministry in 2002, he served as the Directorate-General for Political, Multilateral and Human Rights Affairs. Starting from 2006, he has been First Counsellor at the Mission to the United Nations in New York, during Italy’s two-year term as Member of the UN Security Council. Since 2010 he served first as Frist Counsellor, then as Minister Plenipotentiary, at the Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, during Italy’s three-year term as Member of the UN Human Rights Council.
Back in Rome in 2015, he served at the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation, of which he became Deputy Director-General and Central Director for Programming and Implementation of Cooperation Initiatives.
Since April 15, 2019, he is the Ambassador of Italy in South Africa.
Alessandra Atti Di Sarro
Vice-president of the Centro Luigi Di Sarro, she is the curator and the director of international exchanges
Alessandra Atti Di Sarro is the Vice-president of the Centro Luigi Di Sarro for which she curates and organizes international exchange projects: the VAA-Video Art Awards and the ARP-Art Residency Project, which have taken place between Italy and South Africa since 2009, are both her idea.
She is a journalist, for over 30 years at the Italian RAI-RadioTelevision, she has a degree in Philosophy from the La Sapienza University of Rome and she has always dealt with culture and interculture. She has signed publications, lectured at university courses and masters, participated in numerous conferences on the role of communication and multicultural practice. She has made documentaries and reportages in Italy and around the world, many of them in South Africa, a country in which she chose to put down a solid root more than 15 years ago. She currently lives between Rome and Cape Town.
Niece of the artist Luigi Di Sarro to whom the non-profit Association Centro di documentazione della ricerca artistica contemporanea Luigi Di Sarro is named, she has collected his human and artistic heritage by creating opportunities for cultural exchange dedicated to young artists and experimental art, true pivot of the Di Sarro’s poetics, a multidisciplinary artist active in the 60s and 70s in Rome, Italy.
For her work, she was awarded the Multi-ethnicity and Interculture Award of the Municipality of Rome in 2007 and the TV Ethics Award of Rotary International in 2012.
Art Critic and Professor of History of Contemporary art
Simone Azzoni is an art critic and professor of history of contemporary art at IUSVE. He also teaches Critical Image Reading and Art History at the Palladio Design Institute of Verona and Contemporary Art at the Publishing Master of University of Studies in Verona. He has curated numerous exhibitions in unconventional places.
He is the Artistic Director of ‘Grenze – Photographic Festival’. He is a theater critic for national magazines and newspapers. He organizes theatrical research and experimentation reviews. Among the recent publications, “Frame – Videoarte e dintorni” published by University Library, “Lo sguardo della gallina” by LazyDog Edizioni, “Smagliature” and “Teatro e Fotografia” by Mimemsis Edizioni.
Art Critic, Curator and Professor of History and Methodology of Art Criticism and History of Contemporary Art
Former Curator and Member of the Scientific Committee of Farnesina Design Collection and Director of Volume!, Rome.
He is the author of the books: Nottefonda, Edizioni ZowArt, Rome (2000); A.B.O. Le arti della critica, Skira, Milan (2001); AA. L’arte per l’arte, MME, Rome (2002); Ombre e fantasmi, Monti, Rome (2004); Opere d’arte a parole, Meltemi, Rome (2007); L’orlo del vuoto. Vita, morte e arte di Luigi Di Sarro, Skira, Milan (2008); Arte e le teorie di turno, Electa, Milan (2011); Sadiesfaction. Seduzione, economia, arte, DuePunti, Palermo (2011); Naturans. Il paesaggio nell’arte contemporanea, Skira, Milan (2019, and Sortir Du Champ, Art Criticism Outside the Ready Media, Silvana Editoriale, Milan 2021.
He’s based in Rome, Italy.
Multidisciplinary Artist and Filmmaker
Luca Coclite’s (1981, Gagliano del Capo, LE, IT) artistic research focuses on the analysis of the contemporary image with its connections to landscape and architecture, and the investigation of the correlative sociological influences. For several years he has been watching the transformation of the territory, its surrounding landscape and with that the intrinsic contradictions of the political and social perspectives. He uses different visual languages in his works, favouring drawing, photography and videos. He has participated in several exhibitions and residences for artists such as “Experimental Intermedia” of New York on a scholarship by “NCTM e L’Arte”.
His work has been exhibited in various foundations and museums such as the National Gallery of Rome and the Fondazione del Monte in Bologna, Fondazione Pino Pascali in Polignano A Mare (Ba). He has been involved for many years in many artistic projects, national and international, both as an artist and as a curator, such as Ramdom, Casa a Mare and studioconcreto.
Researcher and development practitioner
Stefano has been for several years a university researcher and lecturer (in the 90’s in Italy and since 2015 in Mozambique) with some works published around management and effectiveness challenges in the non-profit sector and international development cooperation.
When he moved to Southern Africa, more than 20 years ago, he changed his “role” and accumulated a wide set of management experiences ranging from community-based associations to international development NGO’s; since 2017 he has been supporting the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Maputo, Mozambique, in the Education, Health and Civil Registry sectors, while more recently he was assigned to the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which the Agency is pursuing through digital literacy and coding skills, business incubators and accelerators, the digital transformation process of the country, and access to energy, among other strategies.
He enjoyed living in Cape Town (and its townships) for 8 years, where he devoted to mitigation and prevention of gender-based violence and to a transnational network of social movements that based all their knowledge sharing around housing and slum upgrading, as well as their motivation and design of development practices, on community-to-community direct exchanges.
Multidisciplinary Artist and Researcher
Niccolò Masini is an Italian Multidisciplinary Artist and Researcher. He holds a BFA in Animation and Illustration from the European Institute of Design – Milan (2011), a BFA in Audiovisual Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academia of Amsterdam (2015), and an MFA in art praxis and research at the DAI/Dutch Art Institute of Arnhem (2021). His work has been exhibited internationally in The Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Korea, England, South Africa, Italy, North Macedonia, Greece, and Japan. Winner of numerous international prizes, competitions, and residencies, in 2018, he was awarded the Best Young Artist Of The Year (Painting & Sculpture) by the GAMMA competition and GM conference of Tokyo. To date, he lives and works between Genoa (IT) and Amsterdam (NL).
Jabu Nadia Newman
Award-winning artist and Filmmaker
Jabu Nadia Newman is an award-winning artist and filmmaker who works through the mediums of photography and videography. Using an agenda of pushing intersectional feminism her work is largely based on the different and complex identities of South African women.
Newman independently wrote and directed South Africa’s newest and critically acclaimed feminist web series The Foxy Five 2020 Newman was commissioned by NOWNESS, British Film Institute and the British Council to write and direct a short film exploring diaspora aesthetics and issues of afro-futurism, The Dream That Refused Me (2021) which won two awards at the Ciclope Africa Awards Festival 2021 as well as a Silver Cannes Young Director Award. Her newest short film Inside Out premiered at the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2021. She is currently nominated and shortlisted for two Global Ciclope awards and won the bronze at the Shots EMEA 2021 New Director of the Year Award.
In 2018 Newman exhibited her first solo exhibition titled Mokwena, Macquene, after being awarded the recipient of the Orms Cape Town School of Photography Artist in Residency program. This exhibition looked at issues of Coloured identity in Retreat, Cape Town, the history of forced removals and the result of her family having to change their surname.
In 2019 Newman won the 2nd edition Video Art Awards for her film titled untitled:friends and in the same year the Museo Meà with the ‘Associazione Asilo dei Creativi di Meano’ presented It Takes A Village, the artist’s first Museum Solo Exhibition, curated by Alec Von Bargen.
Newman is currently one of the two artists in residency for the Swatch Art Peace Hotel developing her first feature film.
Investec Cape Town Art Fair Director
Architect educated in Italy, Turin, and England, Oxford, she has been involved since 90’s in worldwide accomplished artistic and architectural events. Exhibition designer for art biennales (BIG TORINO 2000, BIG TORINO 2002, VENICE BIENNAL 2005, VENICE BIENNAL 2013), and for international exhibitions with artists and curators like Francois Confino, Maurizio Cattelan, Mario Merz, Piero Gilardi, Michelangelo Pistoletto. Project Manager and site managers’ coordinator for the build-up of Olympic Villages, she has had extensive involvement with TOROC (The Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games in Turin in 2006). Principal Architect for ARTISSIMA, the international fair of contemporary art in Torino from 2007 until 2014, Founder and Director of AdArte architecture, she has been the Director of Investec Cape Town Art Fair since 2017.