Nicola Brandt


About the Artist

Nicola Brandt is a Namibian-born artist known for her large-scale photographs, video works, and installations that reflect on themes of power, memory, desire and positionality. Her cross-disciplinary work explores the entangled legacies of colonialism and exploitative capitalism in Southern Africa and Northern Europe, and their impact on the environment, identity, and memory cultures she grew up in. Brandt’s work foregrounds the idea that place and identity are mutually constituted and are impacted by environmental, social, and political factors. She is interested in how these experiences and effects might be communicated through expanded documentary and performance practices.

She has presented her work internationally at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, Yale University and the Würth Museum in Germany, amongst other venues. Brandt lectures on histories of photography and contemporary art and has been an artist-in-residence at a number of institutions, including at the MARKK Museum and the University of Hamburg. In 2019 she was a visiting professor at the University of Bayreuth’s Institute of African Studies and the Iwalewahaus.

In 2020 Brandt published her first book, Landscapes between Then and Now: Recent Histories in Southern African Photography, Video and Performance Art (2020, Bloomsbury Publishing), a project based on her doctorate in fine art from Oxford University. She is also the founder of Conversations Across Place, a publication dedicated to critical engagement with politics of place, activism and artistic practice.


  • 2024 DECADE : 10 Years of Guns & Rain (group exhibition), Johannesburg
  • 2023 Gift Azera, Munigandu Hoveka, and Nicola Brandt. Man of War: Leave My House, The Goethe Institute, Windhoek
  • 2023 Investec Cape Town Art Fair
  • 2022 Good Neighbours, Nirox Foundation, South Africa Freiburg und Kolonialismus: Gestern? Heute!, Städtische Museen Freiburg
  • 2021 Territories Under My Skin, curated by Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez, Jaro Straub and Ella Ziegler, The Changing Room, Berlin, Germany
  • 2020–2021 Landscapes, National Art Gallery of Namibia
  • 2020 From Where Do We Speak? Frans Nambinga Arts Training Centre, Havana, Windhoek
  • 2019 The Burden of Memory: Considering German Colonial History in Africa, curated by Rose Jepkorir, Princess Marilyn Douala Manga-Bell and Nontobeko Ntombela, Yaounde, Cameroon, Goethe Institute, Hannah Ryggen Triennial: Faig Ahmed, Alighiero e Boetti, Nicola Brandt, Alexandra Kehayoglou, Lise Bjørne Linnert, Ahmed Umar + Hannah Ryggen, curated by Solveig Lønmo. Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim, Norway. Award: Best Exhibition
  • 2019  The Artists Association, Oslo
  • 2018–2019 Ovizire ∙ Somgu: From Where Do We Speak?, curated by Johanna Wild and Bisrat Negassi, The MARRK Museum & M. Bassy, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2018 Tomorrows/ Today, curated by Tumelo Mosaka, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa
    Namibia. The Art of a Young Generation, Museum Würth, Erstein, Alsace, France
  • 2017 Another Antipodes: Urban Axis, PS Art Space, Fremantle, Australia
  • 2016 Kunst Einer Jungen Generation, Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany Mo(ve)ments: African Digital Subjectivities, Yale School of Art, Yale University, Yale, New Haven
  • 2015 Land Matters in Art, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) & the Namibian Ministry of Land Reform, St. Johannes-Evangelist-Kirche, Berlin-Mitte Christoph Schlingensief & Nicola Brandt, Unrecounted: Historical Amnesia in Germany and Namibia, Filmgalerie 451 and the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, Palazzo Pisani, Venice Re-presenting Photography in Namibia, Annual Visual Art Museum Programme (AVAMP), Windhoek
  • 2014 The Earth Inside, curated by Vid Simoniti, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek
  • 2012 Namibia: Definitions of Space, London Festival of Architecture 2012, Ambika P3, University of Westminster, London In Site: Art as a Mode of Enquiry, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
  • 2011 Fuori Campo, Galleria Fuori Campo, Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy Wlotzkasbaken, International Photography Festival, Galleria Edieuropa, Rome


  • Scheryn Art Collection
  • Iwalewahaus Collection, Bayreuth, Germany
  • National Art Gallery, Namibia
  • Embassy of Namibia, Berlin, Germany
  • Würth Collection, Germany
  • The Joseph Schepers-Germaine Lijnen Fund
  • Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Windhoek, Namibia

Grants, Residencies and Awards

  • 2020–2021 Kowitz Foundation Grant to produce ‘Conversations Across Place
  • 2019 Best Exhibition: The Artists’ Association, Oslo for Hannah Ryggen Triennial: New Land
  • 2017–2018 Gerda Henkel Foundation Fellowship
  • 2017 Leverhulme Trust (shortlisted), Oxford's Humanities Division & Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford Diversifying Portraiture, Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Fund, University of Oxford
  • 2016 IFA (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) Wellcome Trust: Participant in Seed Award in Humanities and Social Science
  • 2014 Namibian Film and Theatre Awards: Indifference, Special Mention of the Jury
  • 2010–2014 Christ Church, University of Oxford, Hugh Pilkington Scholarship

Selected Works

The Return, en route to !Nami?nüs/Lüderitz, Namibia,

Digital Pigment Print
Edition of 3 plus 2 AP
Sheet Size: 90 x 60 cm

Nightfall. Cape Town, 18 April

Archival pigment ink on Baryta paper
Edition 1/3 + 1AP
Image Size: 40 x 60 cm

As the Library Burns. Devil’s Peak and University of Cape Town Campus, Cape Town, 18 April

Archival pigment ink on Baryta paper
Edition 1/3 + 1AP
Image Size: 80 x 120 cm

No monument for the fallen (Katuvangua Maendo), Otjozondjupa Region, 25 August 2012

Archival pigment print
120 × 90 cm
Edition of 3 plus 2 AP

Uncertain territories, near Walvis Bay, 27 August 2011

Archival pigment print
Image size: 90 × 60 cm
Paper size: 100 × 73 cm
Edition of 3 plus 2 AP

Removal of the Reiterdenkmal, Windhoek, 19 August 2009

Archival pigment print
Image size: 30 x 45 cm
Paper size: 41 x 56 cm
Edition of 15

Spectre, 6 August 2013

Archival pigment print
Image size: 90 x 60 cm
Paper size: 100 × 73 cm
Edition of 5 + 2AP

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date with contemporary art from sub-Saharan Africa

Keep me up to date