We are pleased to share the list of projects that have been selected for support from our Breathing Space open call. The response was overwhelming, with over 300 applications submitted from countries across the sub-continent!
Against the backdrop of COVID-19 , the Breathing Space call looked to enable a modest ‘breathing space’ for arts practitioners, organisations and networks across the sub–continent to rethink ways of working and reimagine the shape and position of cultural and creative work. This call was oriented towards projects that experiment with new possibilities and formats for artistic production, exchange, collaboration, presentation and reception in response to the complex demands of the present time. While a connection to Switzerland was welcome, it was not a requirement.
Zukiswa Wanner, Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival, literature, Nairobi, Kenya
The indigenous language edition of a series of impromptu literary festivals generated in response to the constraints of the pandemic, connecting African writers to one another as well as to readers on the continent and globally.
Ogutu Moraya, The ocean will always try to pull you in, theatre, Nairobi, Kenya
A theatre project exploring the facts and fictions of the lesser-known migration crisis in Nzwani, part of the Comoros archipelago, that began in 1990s and continues today.
32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust, KLA ART 21 #ThisIsOurs, visual art, Kampala, Uganda
KLA ART is Kampala’s contemporary art festival. The public is invited to participate in
an interactive photography exhibition #ThisIsOurs that redefines the boundaries between audience and artist.
Centre for African Cultural Excellence, Writivism Interlude, literature, Kampala, Uganda
A recap and reflection of the past seven years of Writivism activities, Interlude will include print-on-demand and digital publishing of 2017-2019 annual anthologies, production of a podcast season featuring select audio stories, an online photography exhibition, and a mini-literary festival hosted on social media. Our grant enables collaboration with South African story development company, Black Letter Media. This Breathing Space project is supported through our Regional Arts Programme, with finance from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
hFACTOR Collective / Sixteen Club, Jugaad, “informality”, interdisciplinary, Lagos, Nigeria
Co-curated with Seetal Solanki of materials design studio Ma-tt-er, this project aims to re-imagine global togetherness by developing a living experimental space and deploying “jugaad” or improvisation in the use of plant ecologies to mediate human relations with the material and immaterial world.
Afrika Diva Collectif, Tango*: On the (Dis-)Integration of Times, interdisciplinary, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
A cross-border collaborative project involving four collectives across the two Congos (Kinshasa and Brazzaville), Angola and Gabon. The project will engage with the topic of “times” (“tango” in Lingala) — referring to short and long moments that mark profound changes with global consequences, the interrelatedness of past, present and future actions as well as “viral borderlessness” , examining precolonial world views.
Dorine Mokha, Entre deux : Testament, dance, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
A series of performances, workshops and talks on LGBT themes in four Congolese cities and online via Facebook live, from Congolese choreographer Dorine Mokha working on collaboration with Franck Moka and Studios Kabako. This Breathing Space project is supported through our Regional Arts Programme, with finance from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Edwige Dro, Titrologie littéraire, literature, Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
Following the Ivorian tradition of titrologie – people reading and commenting on newspaper headlines at newsstands – this project proposes engaging ways to bring literature into people’s daily lives through activating a similar logic in the encounter between publics and literary work.
Ker Thiossane, Afropixel #8 Festival “Power to the Commons”, interdisciplinary, Dakar, Senegal
This online edition of the acclaimed festival of digital culture, Afropixel, will invite artists and audiences from across the continent and around the world to engage with the concept of the Commons and reflect on how, through open source culture and digital media, we can better function more “glocally“.
Kwasi Darko, Physical Chaos, Digital Calm, visual art, Accra, Ghana
A virtual photography exhibition that challenges traditional presentation modes and explores new possibilities for engaging with visual media in a virtual world. This Breathing Space project is supported through our Regional Arts Programme, with finance from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Hakeem Adam , Ghana Airways, interactive media, Accra, Ghana
An artistic research project using speculative interfaces to generate an on-line archive exploring the story of Ghana Airways and its role in the construction of post-colonial identity in Ghana.
Ozhope Collective, Creatively Challenging Covid 19 Misconceptions on Malawian Social Media, visual art, Zomba, Malawi
Two artists, a photographer and a writer generate social media content and public banners challenging misinformation about COVID-19 through playful appropriation and subversion of Malawian vernacular proverbs and street humour on the one hand, and the popular cultural phenomenon of Chinese action films translated into Chiwewa on the other.
Livingstone Office for Contemporary Art, Tuning In-Other Ways of Seeing, visual art, Livingstone, Zambia
A mentored on-line residency project inside of an ongoing series of workshops, discursive platforms, lectures, screenings, exhibitions and pop-up shows that focus on growing a new art audience and deconstructing the paradigms that have driven the reading/presentation/representation of the local arts scene.
Pre-empt Group, Geolocation: Sculpture in an augmented environment, interactive media, Johannesburg, South Africa
Geolocation will be an augmented sculpture exhibition and heritage education intervention located within the Credo Mutwa Village, drawing on the archive of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, and presented through an open source/augmented interface.
Zara Julius / KONJO, Talking Drum, interdisciplinary, Johannesburg, South Africa
An independent live music collective produces a podcast and sonic library project that is interested in excavating the aesthetic and affective links in the musical echo-chamber — both within the African continent, and between Africa and the African diaspora in the global south.
Keely Shinners, [in review], interdisciplinary, Cape Town, South Africa
[in review] is a visual art diary-of-sorts featuring musings + meditations by a selected group of arts writers. Over the course of 30 days, each writer will pick an artwork which, for them, has been life-giving, thought-provoking, or soul-soothing and share personal reflections in 500 words or less.
Weheartbeat, I Play What I Like – The Art of Unlearning – An experimental recording lab, music, Johannesburg, South Africa
A series of virtual lab sessions with a selection of artists, producers and vocalists from South Africa and Switzerland who will collaborate on songs using digital music making apps and individualized, unique methods of storytelling that will be used to document their creative processes from beginning to end.
Anne Historical/the joining room, Proximal Distal – sonic passages, interdisciplinary, Johannesburg, South Africa
A network of sound practitioners based in Johannesburg, Maputo, Basel and Berlin create a series of sonic experiences that explore the constraints and possibilities of digital and analogue creation and transmission.
Motherbox, Mother Mind, interdisciplinary, Johannesburg, South Africa
A multi-faceted proposal of interconnected projects inspired by the notion of the ‘mother mind’– circular, multidirectional approaches to thinking and organisation that acknowledge the instinctual as well as the intellectual.