senegal for all senses
waaw residency, saint-louis
31 January - 27 February 2022
Waaw is an artist/volunteer run residency, situated on the Saint-Louis island in the Senegal river. In Saint-Louis, the picturesque decay of the colonial town contrasts with the cultural expressions of contemporary West Africa. Religion has a strong position. Environmentally, Saint-Louis is threatened by flooding due to coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Economy-wise, as fishing stocks are dwindling, the gas and oil industry is hailed as the saviour of this outpost by the Saharan desert.
We invite practitioners in all creative disciplines, as well as curators, journalists and researchers to take part in the sensory feast of Saint-Louis. This residency provides a rare opportunity of living and working fully in the present. Instead of using the picturesque environment as fodder for your social media feeds, we rather encourage you to go off-line to the extent possible, and see what processes this may generate for your artistic practice and beyond.
A stay at Waaw allows for individual work in a semi-secluded setting, but community-oriented projects are also possible. These do require a goodw working knowledge of French. In our selection, we favour projects with relevance to the Senegalese context (see right). Maximum 6 artists will be working at Waaw at any one time.
This residency period witll take place depending on the entry restrictions for foreigners in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. Be prepared for some paperwork in order to get an authorisation from a Senegalese consulate to enter the country.
Waaw provides individual or shared work space and some project assistance and mentoring, including assistance in establishing contacts locally. There is free wifi, but the connection is often rather poor and if you ever considered taking time off the net, this is a perfect opportunity. Accommodation is provided at a B&B run by a Senegalese family in a building at walking distance.
End-of-residency exhibitions or shows are welcome - but not obligatory. Please see the Waaw residency page (link on the right) for practical details on costs etc. We offer no grants, but selected candidates who have paid the registration fee will be issued a letter of support for seeking grants elsewhere.
We are now inviting artists for a one-month stay between 31 January and 27 February 2022. Unfortunately, there is no flexibility as to the arrival date as there will be an initial orientation programme. Please note that extensions before and after this period are not possible. If you want to stay on in town after February, we can help you find accommodation, but assistance beyond this is not available.
This residency period falls in the dry season. Expect afternoon temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees and night temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius.
To apply, send an informal letter to the address info(át)waawsenegal.org. Please tell us why you would like to come to Waaw and what you would like to do during your residency. One A4 sheet will do fine. Please answer these questions, attach a concise project plan, if relevant, and link to relevant work or documentation of it online. If you must attach files, please limit yourself to two single relevant works. NB: We are not interested in detailed cv's or artist's statements. Please make sure that your email message is not heavier than 10 MB - otherwise we may not be able to take your application into account. Thank you for your understanding.
We would like to hear from you by 31 July 2021 at the latest. The selection committee will announce its list of artists in early August.
Hope to see you at Waaw!
What do we mean by "relevance to the Senegalese context"?
We appreciate openness and a genuine interest in what Senegal and Saint-Louis has to offer - and then we don't refer to the sunshine. If you aren't familiar with the country and the culture, we suggest you do a little bit of online research. It does not mean that you have to plan your project in detail beforehand.
Community art initiatives are welcome if you have a good working knowledge of French, but we also hope to see small-scale individual projects of a fairly independent nature. We generally value learning more than teaching.
Knowledge of French is an asset, but it is not necessarily a criterion for selection. Interpretation services are available against payment.