The Waaw residence serves as a base for artists and other creative professionals wishing to stay in Senegal doing creative work. The minimum residency time is one month; stays for 2 months are encouraged. Waaw will be open for artists 15 February - 15 May 2018 (no vacancies; there is a waiting list), 1 November - 31 December 2018 and 1 March - 30 April 2019.

Waaw's main focus is on visual arts, craft and design, but practitioners in all art disciplines, curators, researchers and journalists are welcome. Projects with relevance to the Senegalese context and the local creative community are especially appreciated. NB: No grants are available, but selected candidates will be issued a letter of support for individual grant seeking.



On a non-profit basis, Waaw offers self-catering accommodation, workspace with wifi access. We provide some project assistance and mentoring, contacts in Saint-Louis and language assistance if needed - in other words, you don't necessarily have to speak French. (French and Wolof tuition is available, though.)

The studio building contains five studios (between 12 and 16 sqm) intended for work. They are furnished with tables or workbenches, shelves, seating and lights. Extra workspace for special purposes can be rented outside the Waaw building for an additional fee. The library doubles as a room for meetings and language classes. The Waaw office is on the first floor.


There are no computers available at Waaw, so bringing your own laptop is advisable. End-of-residency exhibitions, performances or workshops are welcome but not obligatory. For these, artists will cover costs for materials and equipment and if applicable, contribute to costs for a gallery assistant. We sometimes organise open door events at Waaw where artists can present their work.

Accommodation is arranged in a private house, with a Senegalese family, at walking distance (2 km) from the studios. Bedrooms (12-16 sqm) contain beds (with mosquito nets), a fan, a desk and storage facilities. Bed linen and towels are provided. Bathrooms (with hot water) are shared. At your disposal is also a shared kitchens, equipped with refrigerator, gas cooker and kitchen utensils. You are welcome to make use of the common courtyard and the rooftop terrace. There is a laundry service for a small fee; you can also wash your clothes by hand. No drugs allowed, including alcohol.


There are several restaurants close to the Waaw studio building where meal prices start at 1,500 fcfa/ €2.30.

Residency fees from November 2018

1 month

including single room 330 000 fcfa / € 500

including double room, per person 200 000 / € 300


2 months

including single room 600 000 fcfa / € 900

including double room, per person 300 000 / € 500





If agreed beforehand, family members or other guests are welcome to stay in your room for an additional 13,000 fcfa/€20 per night (reduction for a longer stay).

A non-refundable registration fee of €150, which counts towards the total amount, should be paid to Waaw upon acceptance onto the programme. The payment of balance should be made three months before the start of the residency. We will also ask for a deposit of €100 (to cover any damages to equipment etc), which is normally paid back at your departure.

We arrange transfers from and to Dakar, as well as pick-up at the airport and accommodation for one night in Thies, conveniently situated en route for Saint-Louis (price for the whole package ranging between €50 and €200). Excursions in and around Saint-Louis can also be booked: to the Djoudj birding paradise, the Lompoul desert or fishing tours, for instance. Bikes can be rented in town.

Studio building, rue Blaise Diagne, Île Nord

Studio space

Bedroom, the Gaye family, Balacoss neighbourhood

Courtyard, the Gaye Family

How to apply


Please send us an informal application letter by email. It should include the information mentioned here. Generally, we are more interested in what you want to do than what you have done in the past - no detailed CVs or long artists' statements, please.


If possible, link to documentation of your work online. If you must send an attachment, please limit yourself to one relevant work. If applicable, attach a very short and realistic project plan, including any wishes as to space, equipment, assistance and time frame. We can receive email messages of maximum 10 MB.




Regular residencies for artists and researchers:


For the period 1 November - 31 December 2018, the deadline is 20 March. For 1 March - 30 April 2019, the deadline is 20 September 2018.


Due to cancellations, we sometimes also have places available at short notice.





The atmosphere is inspiring: peaceful and picturesque but still rough around the edges. Saint-Louis is a gentle version of urban West Africa, with an interesting historical dimension. See our Facebook page for pictures.

Courses or private classes in silver jewellery making, textile dyeing, drumming and dance as well as language courses (French, Wolof, Pulaar) can be arranged.



What is special about a residency at Waaw?

Working professionally with local artists and artisans is possible. For instance, music and dance, traditional craft trades like woodwork, metal work, jewellery and tailoring are well represented in Saint-Louis. However, don't expect much in the way of an avant garde contemporary arts scene.

When it comes to working methods, equipment and basic materials, be prepared to improvise - this is Africa! Much that we take for granted may not be available, or costly - wood, for instance. Plastic and other trash is an environmental problem in town, but at the same time offers opportunities for creation.


At Waaw, there is an easel, a sewing machine and basic woodworking tools at the disposal of the residents. Our little library contains 350 books on Senegal and Africa, mainly in English and French.

See the Saint-Louis page for more information.

For shorter stays, we recommend

Hotel Siki,

Au fil du fleuve and Maison Jamm

We would also be happy to suggest other long-term accommodation.

I am not an artist -

can I stay at Waaw?

Can I visit Waaw?

If you are interested in our residency activities, you are welcome to book a visit in advance. For tourist services in Saint-Louis, we recommend the guide Djiby Mbaye (speaks some English)!louis_1