2009: Anish Kapoor
Brighton Festival’s inaugural Guest Artistic Director…
Her discography consists of six albums, released between 1998 and 2016.
Born in Mali to a diplomat father, Rokia had a nomadic upbringing that exposed her to a wide variety of international musical influences from Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, to Wagner, Serge Gainsbourg, and the Rolling Stones.
A protégé of the legendary guitarist Ali Farka Touré, Rokia’s breakthrough came in 1997 when she was hailed as the ‘African Revelation’ by Radio France Internationale.
Frequently collaborating with world-renowned artists such as Damon Albarn, Devendra Banhart and the Kronos Quartet, Rokia’s diverse output has also included a number of theatre performances, most notably the acclaimed Desdemona by Toni Morrison, a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Othello directed by Peter Sellars.
A dedicated humanitarian, in 2009 she set up the Foundation Passerelle in support of emerging artists amidst the social crises in Mali.
The inaugural Guest Director was visual artist Anish Kapoor (2009), followed by musician Brian Eno (2010), Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi (2011), actress and human rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave (2012), poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen (2013), choreographer, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter (2014), award-winning author Ali Smith (2015), pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson (2016), acclaimed recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest (2017) and visual artist David Shrigley (2018)