Deadline: 02/12/2018

Call for designer/artisan

Limited resources - great ideas? Experiment with locally available materials.

The Waaw residence is situated on the Saint-Louis island in the Senegal river, where the picturesque decay of the colonial architecture contrasts with the cultural expressions of modern West Africa.
Saint-Louis is an urban setting. The city is a centre for fishing, commerce and education. Some craft trades have survived: there are tailors, carpenters and blacksmiths/welders in each neighbourhood, and there is the odd jeweller and a couple of weavers in town. But most raw materials are expensive as they need to be brought from elsewhere, in most cases from abroad. Some crafts, like ceramics and basketweaving, were never practised locally. Even in the countryside, the dry climate and sparse vegetation sets its limits.

Description of the residency
We would like to investigate possibilities of using locally available but untapped resources in craft and design. Such less exploited materals include fish skin (which can be tanned locally on a small scale), goatskin (which is used untanned for drum making) and typha grass, an invasive water plant. There is an abundance of plastic trash (such as flip flops, buckets and containers) on the beaches outside town. Some metal recycling already takes place.
We invite a designer or artisan to work at Waaw for a month, doing research and experimenting in a craft field of his/her choice. At Waaw, we can provide basic leatherwork tools, an old sewing machine, simple woodworking tools. You can collaborate with local craftspeople, making use of their skills and tools, but they would require a small compensation for this.
Your work may attract interest among local people and may, in the best of cases, lead to income-generating activities for material suppliers and craftspeople. However, your residency would essentially be a phase of experimentation. Any future development and commercialisation of your ideas would not be the responsibility of Waaw.

The Waaw residence offers simple single-room accommodation. See our website for details.

Studio/ workspace
Basic studio with tables and shelves, either for you alone or together with another Waaw artist. Internet connection is available.

Expectations towards the artist
Experience of similar projects and knowledge of French would be useful. Please be prepared to bring necessary software and/or other equipment. You would share facilities with other international artists in residence at Waaw, and cover costs for travel and meals yourself.

Fees and support
The fee of €500 includes workspace, single-room accommodation and assistance from Waaw hosts before and during your stay. No grants are available, but we can provide you with an official letter of support for seeking financing.

Application information
Please send us an informal email and tell us about your past work. We would like to hear from you by 2 December at the latest.

Selection process
Out of those who have indicated an interest, we will select one person and announce the result by 7 December.

Call for designer/artisan

Call for designer/artisan


Application deadline

Residency starts

Residency ends

More information

Posted by: