• April 17, 2023

AFRICELL LAUNCHES ARTIST RESIDENCY IN ANGOLA

AFRICELL LAUNCHES ARTIST RESIDENCY IN ANGOLA
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Hawa Jane Bangura

A new Artist Residency scheme is launching in Angola, enabling artists from across Africa to pursue research, build networks and bring creative ideas to life in a contemporary African setting. The residency is a collaboration between Africell, the only US-owned mobile operator in Africa, and ANGOLA AIR, an Angolan arts programme.

‘Africell x ANGOLA AIR’ offers four one-month long residencies per year. Candidates are initially selected from Africell’s operating markets of Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), The Gambia and Angola. Artists take residence in Luanda, Angola’s capital, but have opportunities to travel to other parts of the country. At the end of each annual cycle, a special group exhibition will highlight work produced by participating artists. During their residencies, artists undertake most of their creative work at the ANGOLA AIR studio in Luanda.

Africell x ANGOLA AIR is exciting because it will spark creative connections in Africa”, says Ziad Dalloul, CEO, President and Founder of Africell.  “There are plenty of opportunities for African artists to travel elsewhere, but fewer opportunities for them to travel on the continent. By enabling the movement of young artists within and between our operating markets, the residencies will establish new networks, deepen cross-border ties, and enrich Africa’s artistic landscape”.

The first artist to take residence is Hawa Jane Bangura, an artist from Sierra Leone. A former lawyer, in 2015 Hawa Jane set up ‘The Barray’, a collective of 15 Sierra Leonean artists which holds biannual exhibitions in Freetown. She specialises in acrylic and oil painting in addition to sculpture and installation art. She believes that spending time in Angola will develop her practice.

Angola is known for its experimental creative scene”, Hawa Jane Bangura says. “It is a perfect environment for me to explore the questions I find most interesting, focusing on the concept of identity: how we, as African women, depict ourselves and tell our stories in terms of our history, our culture and our place in the world. I am excited to be part of Africell x ANGOLA AIR because it will add new angles to my work”.

Artists selected for Africell x ANGOLA AIR must have track records of collaboration with other artists and show intent either to use digital elements in their work or to reflect on digital themes (such as the social impact of digital technology) through their work. Artists are expected to not have party political alignment, and those who have not previously participated in international residency programmes are prioritised.

Commenting on the opportunities available in Angola, Founder of ANGOLA AIR Dominick A Maier Tanner says: “Since 2018, ANGOLA AIR has brought international artists to Angola, immersing them in local culture and encouraging them to absorb Angolan influences. Through this collaboration with Africell, we are enabling even more artists to travel to Angola and establishing fresh connections between Angola and other parts of Africa. Africell x ANGOLA AIR is a major addition to the Angolan contemporary arts scene and will help entrench Angola’s reputation as an arts hub”.

Africell x ANGOLA AIR is an initiative of the Africell Impact Foundation. Created in 2022, the Africell Impact Foundation streamlines and structures Africell’s cultural and community-focused investments, connecting the work the company does across its operating markets and maximising its positive social impact. Promoting contemporary African art is a key focus area, and Africell x ANGOLA AIR advances this objective.

the work of Hawa Jane Bangura, the inaugural Africell x ANGOLA AIR artist-in-residence, has been exhibited at events hosted by Africell in Sierra Leone and in the US.
the work of Hawa Jane Bangura, the inaugural Africell x ANGOLA AIR artist-in-residence, has been exhibited at events hosted by Africell in Sierra Leone and in the US.

Africell Sierra Leone CEO Shadi Gerjawi says that in Sierra Leone, as in Africell’s other operating markets including Angola, developing a corporate presence on the arts landscape is important for differentiating the Africell brand. It also provides valuable support to Sierra Leone’s art community.

Africell is a popular technology brand in Sierra Leone,” he explains. “Our approach has always been to focus on and support what people care about. Sierra Leone has a heritage of creative expression, which manifests in art, food, fashion and music. Africell x ANGOLA AIR relates directly to this side of Sierra Leone’s character, and we are delighted to be facilitating artistic exchange between Sierra Leone, Angola and other African countries”.

Africell Angola launched services in April 2022. Since then, it has won almost ten million customers and expanded into multiple provinces, including Luanda and Benguela. Africell is the leading mobile operator in Sierra Leone and The Gambia and a major challenger in DRC. Other ongoing Africell Impact Foundation initiatives include sponsorship of the Congo pavilion at the London Design Biennale 2023, in collaboration with the DRC’s national museum.

ABOUT AFRICELL X ANGOLA AIR

Africell x ANGOLA AIR helps African artists to pursue research, build networks and bring creative ideas to life in a contemporary African setting. Launched in Luanda in 2023, Africell x ANGOLA AIR broadens visions, improves skills, and develops connections through travel and residency opportunities. Africell x ANGOLA AIR offers four month-long residencies in Angola per year. It is a collaboration between the Africell Impact Foundation and ANGOLA AIR.

Guiding objectives:

  • To strengthen artistic and cultural connections between Angola and the other countries/territories represented on the programme
  • To encourage the adoption of digital elements into artistic practices, or to encourage artists to reflect on the role and impact of digital technology (including telecommunications) in their work
  • To enable collaboration and partnerships between artists and arts organisations, with a view to broadening the visions, resources and output of all
  • To develop the skills and knowledge of artists in a way that ultimately enriches the artistic and cultural community in their home country
  • To raise the profile of participating artists and give them opportunities to advance all aspects of their artistic careers.

ABOUT AFRICELL

Africell provides mobile network coverage and related technology services to more than 16 million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. We operate in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The only US-owned mobile network operator in Africa, Africell directly and indirectly employs more than 10,000 people.

Through the Africell Impact Foundation, Africell supports initiatives in the areas of education and entrepreneurship; arts, culture, and heritage; health, sports and wellbeing; and environment action and emergency relief. Our ambition is to narrow Africa’s opportunity gap by linking people to the digital and physical resources they need to engage fully in community life.

To learn more, visit www.africell.com or connect on LinkedIn.

ABOUT ANGOLA AIR

The ANGOLA AIR (ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE) Programme provides artists an environment to create, converse, inspire and be inspired outside of daily routines and traditional confines of their home life.  From the moment artists arrive they’re immersed in Luanda and the color and depth of the local community.

In addition to the possibility of creating work while inside an atelier, artists resident with ANGOLA AIR attend openings and talks, visit artist spaces and galleries, museums and other institutions, and receive vital feedback from art professionals through one-on-one studio visits and public open houses.

To learn more, follow @angolaair on Instagram.

Programme supported by Africell and ANGOLA AIR will develop the creative practice of African contemporary artists

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First artist-in-residence is Hawa Jane Bangura from Sierra Leone

Four fully-funded month-long residencies per year in Luanda, Angola

Residencies supported by the Africell Impact Foundation

Luanda, Angola – 5 April 2023

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