East Africa

5 African Art Residencies You Should Know About

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These are 5 African art residencies you should know about if you are looking to unlock a new level in your art career:

Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative – Rural Mpumalanga, South Africa

The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) was founded in 1995 with its main goal being to facilitate, develop and advance the role of contemporary South African arts, individual artists, arts organizations, NGOs and CBOs as progressive and dynamic agents of personal and social transformation. The FATC is a part of the South African ‘protest’ dance theatre movement, which exists to critically address social issues. In addition to offering professional training, FATC’s residency program provides artists with the opportunity to create their work in the tranquil surroundings of Mpumalanga, free from the distractions of urban life. Furthermore, the residency is a five weeks program that features a curated selection of masterclasses, administered by distinguished South African theatre practitioners.

Image courtesy of Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative

Noldor Artist Residency – Accra, Ghana

Founded in 2020 by Joseph Awuah-Darko, – a social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and expert in contemporary African art – Noldor Artist Residency is a pioneering force in the contemporary art community of Ghana. Every year, the residency provides a unique four weeks experience for one resident. The program begins with a stay in a coastal area in Accra before retreating to the outskirts of the city during the final week. This creates space for the resident artist to fully immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of Accra before reflecting on their work after which their works are exhibited locally and internationally through the residency’s global partnerships.

Image courtesy of Noldor Artist Residency

Queens Collective – Marrakech, Morocco

Queens Collective operates at the crossroads of culture and activism as a diverse arts, community, and residency space. The collective seeks to create a connection between Moroccan and global artists with the local Marrakech community. The goal of the collective is to host artists whose creations stimulate conversations around feminist and gender-oriented issues with a postcolonial perspective. Resident artists through experimentation, discussion, and networking, are encouraged to examine the relationship between their work and the city of Marrakech, as well as its people.

Image courtesy of Queens Collective

Nafasi Art Space – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Nafasi Art Space is an interdisciplinary contemporary art center that prioritizes fostering an environment of exploration, daring, and serendipity. With its broad range of amenities, including expansive grounds comprising of studios, galleries, exhibition spaces, an art academy, a film amphitheater, an art library, a supply shop, a music rehearsal area, and more, Nafasi Art Space accommodates artists from diverse disciplines. At Nafasi Art Space, a residency is not a secluded, individual experience, but rather an opportunity for engagement and dialogue. Residents can anticipate meeting a community of local Tanzanian artists who value collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

Image courtesy of Nafasi Art Space

Tankwa Artscape – Tankwa Karoo, South Africa

The Tankwa Artscape artist residency is an annual event that takes place in the Tankwa Karoo semi-desert in South Africa. Located five hours away from the nearest shop, participating artists are fully enveloped in a stunning natural setting. The environment naturally evokes themes such as interdependence, the influence of humanity on the planet, shelter, and scarcity. Living in tents in an isolated area makes the program of Tankwa Artscape an intense experience, not suitable for those who are easily intimidated. However, for others, it could be a life-changing experience.

Image courtesy of Tankwa Artscape

Joy Adeboye is a creative writer and visual storyteller. She is a graduate of the Department of English and Literary Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University. She is currently a Writer for Art News Africa.

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