We are pleased to welcome two new colleagues to our team, who join Pro Helvetia Johannesburg in the broader context of exploring a more decentralised model for our work across Africa during the course of the coming four years.
With a view to building and strengthening networks in Southern, East and West/Central Africa to support artistic and cultural exchange between Switzerland and these regions, the team is now spread across Johannesburg (South Africa), Kampala (Uganda) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). In this triadic framework, we look to engage with dynamic art scenes across the continent, working with and through local partners around the realisation of projects concerned with artistic and professional exchange and collaboration, and the presentation of significant work, often emerging from collaborations. We also look to further develop shared networks and programming within a fluid cultural geography that particularly connects us to our offices in Cairo, New Delhi and (shortly) Santiago and Sao Paulo.
Based in Abidjan, Oualid Khelifi will be working principally across countries in West & Central Africa, identifying and engaging local partners and playing a facilitating role for Swiss connection and presence in these regions. Kampire Bahana, based in Kampala, will be fulfilling the same role in East Africa.
Oualid Khelifi is an arts producer, documentary filmmaker and communication strategist. He has worked extensively across the African continent, carrying multidisciplinary assignments in over two dozen countries, including his native Algeria. From fundraising and R&D to showcasing and digital dissemination, Oualid has produced and managed a series of international collaborative projects featuring African artists and counterparts in the UAE, the UK, the US and all the way to South East Asia and Latin America. As a writer, a photographer and a director, he has contributed in various formats to international media outlets such as TeleSur, Aljazeera, BBC and World Press Photo. As an artistic director, he has programmed for Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE), and curated and co-produced in collaboration with Marsm (UK) on festivals and masterclasses. Oualid holds an applied mathematics degree from the University of Bristol (UK) and the University of California San Diego (US).
Kampire Bahana is a writer, DJ and organiser from Kampala, Uganda. She co-founded the participatory art installation Salooni that has travelled widely to major festivals and biennales across the continent and the UK. As a DJ, Kampire is a core member of Kampala’s Nyege Nyege collective and her music has taken her to Burkina Faso, Reunion Islands and to multiple festival stages and clubs in Europe. Her writing, which has been published on platforms such as Africa is a Country, Okay Africa and Resident Advisor, focusing mainly on music and feminist topics. Alongside her creative work, Kampire has worked in strategy, communications, reporting and fundraising for a range of private foundations and non-governmental organisations in Uganda, including the Maisha Foundation, Fundi Bots and the Forum for Women and Democracy. Kampire has a Bachelors degree in International Studies from Bowling Green State University (Ohio).