The Berlin Senate has conferred its highest award The Order of Merit of Berlin to Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, the founder and artistic director of the Berlin art space SAVVY Contemporary.
The senate recognised Ndikung’s long standing commitment to the city's intellectual, artistic, and cultural development. “With his work, Professor Bonaventure Ndikung makes an extraordinary contribution to Berlin's development into a cosmopolitan, colourful and solidary metropolis.”
A Cameroonian by birth, Ndikung holds a doctorate degree in medical biotechnology from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf/TU Berlin and a post-doctorate degree in biophysics from the University of Montpellier. He later founded SAVVY Contemporary in 2010 as a “laboratory of form ideas”. SAVVY has been instrumental in bringing to the fore contemporary art projects that examine Germany's colonial history and its impact on the African diaspora.
In a statement, Ndikung doubled down on his commitment to Berlin and serving his community back home. “This is a recognition of the work SAVVY Contemporary has been doing over the past decade. It is important to say that there is still very much to be done and with the support of a very motivated, intelligent and diligent SAVVY Contemporary team, as well as with the people of Berlin and beyond. But of utmost importance is that this medal is dedicated to the people of Anglophone Cameroon, who have been under a state of war that has led to hundreds of thousands of internally and externally displaced people.”
The Order of Merit of Berlin is given out each year on 1 October, the anniversary of the city’s constitution, recognising individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the German capital.