Annette Bhagwati studied Social Anthropology and Art History in Freiburg, Berlin and London. After extensive fieldwork in West Africa (Benin) she received an M.A. in Area Studies Africa (1993) and a Ph.D. (1999) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. In her thesis she examined local aesthetics and evaluative frameworks in oral culture.
After graduating, she worked for Artsworldwide, London, and Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, before she became programme coordinator and in-house curator in the department of Exhibitions, Film, New Media at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin (2001-2006). In this capacity, she coordinated and advised on major international exhibitions, conferences and festival collaborations, with a special focus on African, Asian and Latin American arts and cultures. Exhibitions include "Portrait Afrika. African Portrait Photography", "The Short Century" (Okwui Enwezor), "subTerrain. Contemporary Art from India" (Geeta Kapur), "Politics of Fun. Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia"(Ong Keng Sen/Gridthiya Gaweewong), "Far Near Distance. Contemporary Positions of Iranian Artists" (Rose Issa), "DisOrientation. Contemporary Art from the Middle East" (Jack Persekian) and "About Beauty" (Wu Hung). Annette Bhagwati has taught courses on African Literatures at SOAS, graduate seminars on Classical and Contemporary African Art at Freie Universität, Berlin, and has co-edited the exhibition catalogue "Porträt Afrika" (1999).