The Artists in Residency programme (AIR) has been designed to support and celebrate the achievements of artists from Africa who are provocative, innovative and highly engaged, both with social issues and their art forms. AIR works in partnership with residencies throughout the world to identify African artists and fund their airfare to the residency.
Why We Do It
In contrast to artists from Europe, North America, Asia and even Latin America, there are limited opportunities for artists in Africa to participate in artist in residency programmes. This occurs for a variety of reasons, but most pertinently because: very few residency programmes exist in Africa; African artists are often not well known in contemporary art circles throughout the world; and when accepted to residency programmes, African artists are confronted with limited sources of funding to support the costs of getting to the residency.
These factors deny the global artist in residency community access to the many exceptional African artists practising on the continent, and in turn denies these artists the unique growth opportunity that residencies afford.
How We Do It
AIR partners with existing artist in residency programmes around the globe to award exceptional African artists with the opportunity to take up a short-term residency to focus on consolidating their work and developing new projects. Each residency partner selects one artist from a shortlist provided by the Africa Centre, following a continent-wide call for submissions. The costs of the residency and a round-trip airfare are included in each award. The residencies are available to all forms of artistic expression and types of artists, but each residency differs in terms of duration, structure and requirements.
Since its inception in 2011, AIR has funded 19 African artists to attend residencies in Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Finland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the USA.