Simon Njami is a Paris-based independent curator, lecturer, and art critic. He studied philosophy, art history, law, and modern literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. Njami was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Revue Noire, a journal of contemporary African and extra-occidental art. He served as artistic director of the Bamako Photography Biennale for ten years, collaborating with the European Union in the implementation of the event. From 2000 to 2010, Njami served as advisor to the AFAA, the cultural branch of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in establishing their cultural cooperation policy towards African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries.
Njami has been a member of numerous art and photography juries, including for the World Press Photo contest, in 2006 and 2008. He also acts as a nominator for the Joop Swart Masterclass. He co-curated the first African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 and has curated numerous other exhibitions of contemporary art and photography, including Africa Remix (2004 to 2007) and the first African Art Fair, held in Johannesburg in 2008. He has been a member of boards of numerous museums, a visiting professor at the University of San Diego California, and a member of the acquisition committee of FRAC Réunion. He is currently directing the pan-African master classes in photography, a project that he conceived with the Goethe Institut.