Organised by East African Soul Train (EAST), the Lost+Found hybrid residency and research programme brings artists from across disciplines and geographies together on a journey to experiment artistically, critically exploring their entangled histories and futures. Under the joint artistic direction of EAST collective artists Diya Naidu, Pamela, Enyonu and Kat Kol Kes, the hybrid artist-led programme builds on their research conducted in Switzerland, and explores technology and gamified approaches to catalyse connection, collaboration and critical reflection. Throughout the six-week programme from 11 June to 31 July 2023, 16 artists from Africa, India and Europe will be guided through an online/offline process that inspires them to play, share perspectives with their peers, take risks and create new collaborative work. Four Switzerland-based artists that the artistic directors met during their research trip have been invited to participate.
A central element of Lost+Found is the “journey-game”, where artists accompany each other on an exploration of their local environment using Whatsapp live location and prompts from an “outsider,” whose curiosity, bias and perspective encourages new ways of interacting with one’s surroundings. Images, video and sound bites, dialogue and insights, become artifacts that artists work with throughout the residency. Artists are invited to challenge and demystify, clarify and re-imagine each other’s experiences and perceptions in collaborations and artistic outputs. This generates plural and diverse narratives about the experiences of artists from across Africa, Europe and beyond, which local and global audiences are then invited to engage with.
The process-driven approach invites artists to stretch into new directions and build deeper connections, creating a caring and safe space to critically explore global power dynamics and entangled histories. Building on this learning, and led by the artistic directors, the transformation of social, aesthetic and financial manifestations of structural inequality between artists from different backgrounds and geographies forms the 2023 theme. Together, they will generate new questions, insights and perspectives around the complex North/South power dynamics present in creative exchange opportunities and the care needed to address them. This will lead to a webinar and collaborative research paper later in 2023.
The project will culminate in a series of on/offline performances/installations in India, Kenya, the UK and via Zoom for global audiences starting the week commencing 24 July 2023. Following the residency, an NFT collection will be made, and works will also be available virtually. An additional “exhibition in a box” format will allow artists from the wider EAST collective to use to create pop-up events in their own localities.
Meloe Gennai [Zurich] is a poet and playwright. Their artistic practice explores embodied narratives through poems, moving images and performance art. Meloe grew up among Black women who were activists, artists, writers and scholars. Having had access to their thoughts and libraries at a very young age, Meloe built their mixed-race trans non-binary self with a strong sense of belonging and responsibility.
Salome Egger [Bern] is an artist, designer and performer enlacing threads from different disciplines. Textiles and textile techniques are mostly the medium of her practice. In her performative settings and spatial arrangements artistic thinking is bonded to complex theoretical questions.
Aldir Polymeris [Bern] is a video artist, performer, theatre-maker and an art mediator. He grew up between Switzerland and Chile. Aldir is interested in processes of translation, the creation of shared spaces of exchange, the creative use of digital means and the inclusion of different forms of knowledge and perspectives.
Tristan Siodlak [Geneva] is a multidisciplinary visual artist. He works on animation, video game, digital experience, installation, and live performance projects. His work is multi-platform, translated either on screen or in augmented reality, projections, virtual reality, and on paper. His universes all have a unique visual identity that communicate with each other.