Waaw is an artists' residency. Its mission is to promote Senegalese and African culture in the world and to facilitate cultural exchange by bringing visitors and the local community together for work or study. The focus is on art and design in a broad sense. Waaw provides a work base and accommodation for creative professionals seeking inspiration in the local environment and culture as well as for researchers and journalists. Residency participants are selected on the basis of project proposals.
Waaw is a well-established institution in Senegal. Since opening in October 2012, we have hosted 220 selected artists from 30 countries. We have organised intensive language courses in French (8) and Wolof (4) with over 80 participants. We regularly invite local artists and craftspeople for projects or exhibitions, and we sometimes organise open house events. Waaw is, however, not a cultural centre open to the public. Hosting artists and their projects is our principal activity.
Waaw is run by experienced volunteers from Finland, in cooperation with Senegalese experts and cultural actors. It has no links to any foreign government. It is a non-profit institution, not financed by any public body, and it functions in rented premises in the old town of Saint-Louis. Waaw therefore depends on fees paid by artists and other guests.
Waaw (pronounced 'wow') means 'yes' in the' Wolof language. Waaw!