General information

Brief description of organisation

The aim of the Waaw centre is to promote African and Senegalese culture and encourage exchanges between people who are active in the creative field.

Waaw is run by experienced volunteers from Finland, in cooperation with various Senegalese cultural actors. In six years, we have received 200 artists from all over the world and built a network of contacts in Saint-Louis and Dakar. We have an on-site gallery, Éthiopiques, dedicated to contemporary art and various forms of Senegalese and African art.

Please see our website and Facebook page for documentation of our projects.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

The residency programme is open to artists and academics seeking inspiration in the unique environment and/or wishing to work, study or interact with other professionals and the local community.

The Waaw centre is situated in an old townhouse in the colonial town of Saint-Louis, on an island in the Senegal river, a stone s throw from the Atlantic.

Th Waaw house itself comprises studios for 5 artists, a meeting room/library, a kitchenette and a common courtyard. Workspaces for special purposes can be rented elsewhere in town. Accommodation is provided in a large house at walking distance, hosted by a Senegalese family. You will have your private furnished bedroom, but bathrooms, kitchen and common spaces are shared with other guests.

Buildings are centrally situated in Saint-Louis, surrounded by colourful, Senegalese everyday life, but we understand visiting artists´ need for peace and personal space, and for this reason, Waaw is open to the public for special events only.

The residency fee covers accommodation, workspace and project assistance before and during the residency, including help with research and finding contacts in Senegal. There is wifi but, as in Africa in general, the connection is slow. Why not take time off the net while in Senegal, in order to live fully in the present?

Waaw is open to professionals in all art disciplines, but visual arts, crafts and design are of particular interest. Researchers and journalists are welcome, too. We favour projects with relevance to the Senegalese context.

Next deadlines: 10 September 2019 (for our special Mauritania programme in January) and 20 September (for February-April 2020). We sometimes have space available also at short notice.

No grants are available.

See our website for more information.

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Film Making
  • Architecture
  • Sculpture
  • Dance
  • Textile Art
  • Music
  • Literature
  • Design, Traditional crafts, Journalism
Type of organisation
  • Artist-Run
  • Independent Association/Foundation

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • 1 month
  • between 1 and 3 months
  • 3 months
Number of artists resident at one time

between 5 and 10

Companions allowed
  • Partners
Grants available


Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Housing
  • Supplies
  • Food
  • Other
Expectations of the artist
  • Presentation
  • Cleaning

No matter what kind of project you are working, on a residency is a communal experience. We expect artists to share knowledge and impressions with hosts and fellow artists. Presentations, concerts and other events welcome. We occasionally organise open house events. Artists also have access to spaces for exhibitions.

Application who/how

Application by Mail

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency



  • Internet Connection
  • Leatherworking tools. Other tools, basic screen printing materials, musical instruments etc. available outside the centre for a charge.
  • Library
  • Kitchen
  • Woodworking Tools
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Private Studio

  • Private Room
  • Shared Room
Working language(s)
  • English
  • French
  • Finnish, Swedish, Wolof
Other activities happening at the space
  • Presentation
  • Exhibitions
  • Seminars, language courses

How to reach

By plane

Dakar Blaise Diagne Airport, 3-3.5 hours away by car

By car

Waaw is situated right in the middle of the Saint-Louis old town, 1 km north of the Faidherbe Bridge.

We organise transport from Dakar for Waaw residents.

Nearest airport

Dakar Blaise Diagne

Contact information

rue Blaise Diagne, Ile Nord
32000 Saint-Louis


Phone: +221 77 143 88 90, +358 40 761 79 45

Social Media


Upcoming Deadlines
Waaw Waaw Waaw Waaw Waaw