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Otobong Nkanga began her art studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and later continued her studies in Paris at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. She has been artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (2002-2004) and she finished her Masters in the Performing Arts at DasArts, Advanced Research in Theatre and Dance studies, Amsterdam (2005-2008). Furthermore she has been artist-in-residence at the DAAD, Berlin (2014) and at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2019). 

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