20th BMW Art Car supports artists
Company 21.05.2024 4 Min.
20th BMW Art Car supports artists.

The 20th BMW Art Car by Julie Mehretu cuts a dash at its world premiere. The artist joins forces with the BMW Group to launch a series of sponsorship projects for up-and-coming artists in Africa.

The BMW Group is delivering several levels of cultural spectacles with the world premiere of the 20th BMW Art Car at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The BMW M Hybrid V8 endurance prototype designed by New York artist Julie Mehretu continues a long tradition of racing car versions of the BMW Art Car Collection. Just a few weeks after its first presentation, it will compete in the famous 24-hour race of Le Mans. However, it is not on the racetrack that the collaboration between BMW and Ethiopian-born Julie Mehretu will probably make its most defining contribution to culture and exchange, but in a number of African cities: the BMW Art Car project was conceived as a joint initiative to promote young filmmakers right from the very outset. The PanAfrican Translocal Media Workshops bring together up-and-coming artists in several African countries.

“The BMW Art Cars are an essential part of our global cultural commitment,” says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “For almost 50 years, we have been cooperating with artists who are just as fascinated by mobility and design as they are by technology and motorsports. Julie Mehretu's vision for a racing car is an extraordinarily strong contribution to our BMW Art Cars series. Julie Mehretu has created more than an amazing Art Car. Her ideas provided the impetus for us to expand the cultural commitment of our Art Cars to promote the creativity of young artists in Africa.”

Encounter, exchange, cooperate.

Julie Mehretu will play a central and inspirational role in bringing the PanAfrican Translocal Media Workshops to life: Mehretu will join Mehret Mandefro, an Emmy-nominated producer, writer and co-founder of the Realness Institute, which works to strengthen the media ecosystem in Africa, in organising workshops in several African cities and regions over the course of 2025. The workshops aim to open up a space for artists to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate translocally.

These meetings are intended to provide a forum for artists to develop new paths towards an equitable local future in their respective communities. The workshops will focus on artistic forms of expression in moving images – documentary film, art film or animation. In terms of content, it’s about finding or reinventing your own identity. To free yourself from restrictive media representations.

Julie Mehretu: creating something new and pushing boundaries.

It quickly became clear to Julie Mehretu that the creative partnership with the BMW Group would be so much more than just designing a vehicle – it was destined to be a far-reaching and sustainable commitment to social issues: “I realised that the whole Art Car project is about creating something new, being inventive and pushing boundaries to see what’s possible.”

The cities of Dakar (Senegal), Marrakesh (Morocco), Kigali (Rwanda), Lagos (Nigeria) and Cape Town (South Africa) have already been confirmed as stops on the PanAfrican Translocal Media Workshop Series, which will continue into 2026.

The outcomes of the workshops – together with the 20th BMW Art Car itself – will be presented at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town to provide a common forum for cultural exchange in the different countries.


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