By Abdi Ali
Published February 15, 2015
Winners of the all-Africa Artists in Residency (AIR) programme for 2015 have been announced.
The nine winners were picked from a field of 423 contenders from 40 countries. However, the artists who were shortlisted for music and film appear not to have been considered.
Africa Centre (AC), the Cape Town (South Africa)-based organisation that sends out calls and shortlists applicants on behalf of its eight residency partners, says the final selection of candidates is usually made by the partners; ‘based on each residencyâ€™s specific interest’.
The AIR programme, AC says, â€œseeks to honour and celebrate extraordinary African artists who are committed to producing provocative, innovative and socially-engaging work.”
The artists selected for AIR 2015 are:
Collin Sekajugo (Uganda, Visual Artist) â€“ Jiwar, Spain
Francois Knoetze (South Africa, Visual Artist) â€“ Nafasi Arts Space, Tanzania
Kato Change (Kenya, Performance Artist) â€“ Instituto Sacatar, Brazil
Liza Grobler (South Africa, Visual Artist) â€“ Khoj, India
Masande Ntshanga (South Africa, Author) â€“ Bundanon Trust, Australia
Nana Oforiatta Ayim (Ghana, Author) â€“ Instituto Sacatar, Brazil
Richard Mudariki (Zimbabwe, Visual Artist) â€“ Fountainhead, USA
Tamrat Gezahagne Gero (Ethiopia, Visual Artist) â€“ Jiwar, Spain
Wallen Mapondera (Zimbabwe, Visual Artist) – Kuona Trust, Kenya
AC says “Artists selected for residencies at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center will be announced in April 2016.” It says it “will be revealing more about these artists, including their residency proposals” on its website over the next fortnight.
The invitation for AIR applications usually attracts interest from visual arts, curatorial practice, performing arts, film, music, creative writing, and literature.
â€œEmerging and mid-career level artists both self-taught or formally trained in their respective disciplines are eligible to apply,” AC says. But only “most provocative, innovative and socially-engaged artists,” make it to the final stage, according to AC.
The AIR partners are AC (South Africa); Bundanon Trust (Australia); Fountainhead (USA); Instituto Sacatar (Brazil); JIWAR Creation & Society (Spain); Khoj International Artistsâ€™ Association (India); Kuona Trust Arts Centre (Kenya); Nafasi Arts Space (Tanzania); and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy).