Silva had been a leader for the promotion of Africa’s contemporary arts and artists world-wide for twenty-five years and will long be remembered for her efforts to promote vibrant art spaces on the African continent. In 2007, Silva opened CCA, Lagos, an experimental exhibition space that has opened such important exhibitions as ‘Democrazy’ (2007–08); Like a Virgin’ with Lucy Azubuike and Zanele Muholi (2012), ‘Playing with Chance: El Anatsui’ (2014)); and ‘Kelani Abass If I can save time’ (2016–17). Silva also curated the 2006 Dak’Art Biennale of Contemporary African art in Dakar, Senegal and the 10th Rencontres Biennale of Contemporary Photography in Bamako, Mali in 2015.
She was a gifted mentor and pioneered the ASIKO curatorial workshops, bringing together international casts of artists, curators and academics to inspire new generations of men and women to bring about cultural change. Silva was also a passionate advocate for the preservation of archives on the African continent and a dedicated scholar. Her publications include a groundbreaking monograph on the Nigerian photographer, J.D Ojeikere. She will be missed.