AtWork Lisbon Chapter 08


AtWork Lisbon Chapter 08

Lisbon, Portugal
September 15–17, 2017


Hangar Cultural Centre


“Where do we go from here?”


Simon Njami

AtWork Lisbon Chapter 08 has been implemented in partnership with Hangar, the artistic research center in Lisbon, and Monica de Miranda, one of the founders. The workshop was led by Simon Njami who conducted the 14 young creative talents in a deep discussion around the main theme “Where do we go from here?” together with the workshop facilitators Herberto Smith, António Brito Guterres and Jeanne Mercier.

“Adolescence is the peak of confusion. People are focusing more on the direction and they forget the departure point, which is a mistake. The more you are prepared the better it is to move.”

Simon Njami, AtWork leader

The Workshop

The workshop took place in Lisbon, Portugal on September 15-17, implemented in partnership with Hangar, the artistic research center in Lisbon, and Monica de Miranda one of the founders. The workshop has been led by the renowned international curator and our advisor Simon Njami, who conducted the 14 young creative talents through the AtWork process, diving into the social and more intimate dimensions of the workshop’s theme: “Where do we go from here?”
Simon pushed the participants to think about the question starting from defining the “here”, the departure point, since only after having understood where you are now, who you are now, you can think about where to move forward.

As usual in the AtWork format, as a result of the discussion each participant transferred their personal artistic interpretation of the process on a Moleskine notebook.



The Leader: Simon Njami

AtWork Kampala Chapter 03 – AtWork Cairo Chapter 04 – AtWork Modena Chapter 05 – AtWork Addis Ababa Chapter 06 – AtWork Lisbon Chapter 08 workshop leader

Simon Njami is an independent curator, lecturer, art critic, and writer. He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of “Revue Noire.” Previously, Njami was the artistic director of the Bamako Photography Biennial 2000-2010, and co-curator of the first African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He has curated a number of contemporary art and photography exhibitions, including Africa Remix (2004-2007) and the first African art fair in Johannesburg in 2008. In 2014, The Divine Comedy exhibition, created and curated by him, started a world tour at the MMK (Museum für Moderne Kunst) in Frankfurt, moving on to the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. He is the director of the Pan African Master Classes in Photography, a project created in partnership with the Goethe Institute; artistic director of the Donwahi Foundation (Abidjan, Ivory Coast); adviser to the Sindika Dokolo Collection (Luanda, Angola); secretary of the special jury of the World Press Photography Awards; artistic director of the first edition of Off Biennale (Cairo, 2015) and the 2016 Dak’Art Biennale (Dakar, Senegal), the first and most important artistic event in Africa.

“More schools should adopt this kind of work because we talked about things and we explored the things without being pushed by any subject or any person. It’s important.”

Nedylia Rosa workshop participant

The Experience

The particularity of the Lisbon experience was the mix of the participants that came from very diverse backgrounds, some of them from the peripheral underprivileged neighborhoods that don’t usually have access to unconventional educational experiences as AtWork. That’s why the role of the facilitators who work with the kids from these neighborhoods was quite fundamental. One of the facilitators Herberto Smith took an active part in the workshop and also shared his photographic practices during the workshop, inspiring the students with his work. The discussion led the participants to look deep into their identities, examine themselves as human beings and as art practitioners and question their path and direction. They mixed background of the participants provided a perfect platform for mutual contaminations and inspirations.


“In Lisbon there are people doing things, but you don’t see them and they don’t have access to certain spaces. So the only way to involve them is to share and try to build some kind of community. That’s why this workshop is very much needed for this community, who often don’t see themselves represented and they feel they don’t deserve it”.

Herberto Smith workshop facilitator


The Exhibition

The Moleskine notebooks created by the participants during the workshop have been exhibited at Hangar. The exhibition, co-curated by the workshop participants, inaugurated on September 22nd and ran until October 14th 2017.

“Everything is possible and you can do everything. There is a theme but inside that theme there are millions of possibilities.”

Gabriel Moura workshop participant

Participants list

  • Ál
    Ana Filipa Tavares
    Andrea Duron-Cachet
    Bárbara Pereira
    Gabriel de Moura

  • Lion Maré Djaci
    Lubanzadyo Bula
    Milton Varela
    Nedylia Rosa
    Nádia Lima
    Rafael de Almeida
    Suleiman Suaré


  • Hangar:
    Monica de Miranda, Ana de Almeida, Rachel Korman

    Herberto Smith, António Brito Guterres and Jeanne Mercier

    Photo Shooting:
    Allé Dicu, Herberto Smith

    Video Production:
    Miguel Tavares