Eric Otieno Sumba

Writer, Editor


Eric Otieno Sumba is a writer and editor. His op-eds, reviews and art criticism have been published by Contemporary And, Africa is a Country, Sleek, Nataal, Frieze, Texte Zur Kunst, Gropius Bau Journal, Berliner Zeitung, and Griotmag, where he is also contributing Editor. He has contributed to two edited volumes: 'African Artists: From 1882 to Now' (2021), a pioneering survey of 300 modern and contemporary artists published by Phaidon Press, and a chapter to 'Institutional Change for Museums' (Forthcoming 2023). A version of Eric's Pushcart Prize-nominated essay "Deep Afield", first published by Lolwe, was published by The Guardian in 2022. Eric writes in English and German, and his work is regularly translated into Italian.



African Artists

Modern and Contemporary African art is at the forefront of the current curatorial and collector movement in today's art scene. This groundbreaking new book, created in collaboration with a prestigious global advisory board, represents the most substantial appraisal of contemporary artists born or based in Africa available.


the Guardian
A moment that changed me: I visited my parents' old home

In most of the children's books I browsed through as a last-born child, there was an address in southern England handwritten in the inside cover. I vaguely knew my parents and two siblings lived there at some point, and I grew up surrounded by minor monuments to that life in England: Dad's records, the faux-Victorian framed mirror above the fireplace, and - Mum's holy grail - a bedside Teasmade with an integrated lamp and clock.

Deep Afield - Eric Otieno Sumba | Lolwe

You kept busy, exploring London for a few sunny autumn days after a conference in Windsor. Unfazed by the sensory overload of your inaugural visit to the heart of empire, you relished sights and symbols that, in your mind, signalled a nascent triumph over its vestiges. A golden saltire set against lavish black and green cloth, for instance, looked particularly flamboyant against London’s startlingly blue sky. The flag hung on a white mast, diagonally attached...

Sandra Mujinga

In the April issue of frieze, Eric Otieno Sumba profiles artist Sandra Mujinga on the occasion of solo exhibitions at the Swiss Institute in New York and The Approach in London. “I’ve been thinking about whether I can at all appear as I wish to appear in this world. Or if there’s an impossibility to that.” Sandra Mujinga’s multimedia practice conjures spectres that haunt contemporary reality – from our dematerialized digital footprints to the ever-present ghosts of colonial history.

'Centropy' | Deana Lawson and Black Image Matters

There are at least two liminal frames that offer themselves when looking at images of Black people. The first is that on a fundamental level, images generally and images of Black people in particular remind us that no matter how advanced the equipment is, image-making is always a transaction in light and shadows.


Künstlerin Monira Al Qadiri: "Erdöl ist ein Monster"

Die kuwaitische Künstlerin Monira Al Qadiri erlebte als Kind, wie Erdöl ihr Land veränderte und schließlich in den Krieg führte. In ihrer Arbeit setzt sie dem zu Ende gehenden Ölzeitalter ein Denkmal

Teju Cole und Fazal Sheikh fragen in Human Archipelago nach Heimatlosigkeit und Gastfreundschaft

Das Wort “Gastfreundschaft” klingt etwas altmodisch. In Zeiten der Globalisierung, in der jeder easyjet-setter mit entsprechendem Pass, Outfit, Wortschatz und Habitus überall ein “local” sein kann, ist die Rolle der Gastfreundschaft in den Hintergrund gerückt. Teju Cole und Fotograf Fazal Sheikh haben zusammen ein neues Fotobuch herausgebracht, in dem diese alte Tugend abgestaubt wird