Lines that trace a self-portrait, glimpses of a personal story, excerpts of one’s country’s past and reflections on the society around us. Pictures, materials, colours, combustions, collages, question marks. Traces of a journey, individual and collective. These are just some of the things contained in the notebooks produced by the AtWork workshop students. Page after page, mixing techniques, art expressions and words in different languages. Contaminations that testify to the individual transformation of each participant, triggered by the workshop. A process that stimulates each student to be more conscious and aware in order to become an activist of change in his or her society. The notebooks produced during the workshops and the experiences of each particular chapter have been the topics of our intervention at Art Basel on Saturday, June 20th 2015 where we presented AtWork.
lettera27 has been invited to participate in the Crowdfunding Lab, an area dedicated to the experimental crowdfunding platform launched last year by Art Basel. It was a unique opportunity to showcase not only the work of the artists that have donated their artist notebook to our collection, but most importantly, to give visibility to the works of the young talents that have participated to our workshops in Africa in front of the international audience of art professionals (gallerists, museum directors, collectors and journalists). At the booth we went through the most important moments of the three AtWork chapters realized up until that moment in Dakar, Abidjan and Kampala. The conversation was conducted under the exceptional guidance of our advisor Simon Njami together with our Program Director Adama Sanneh. We also touched upon the social relevance of AtWork and its goal to experiment new educational paradigms and introduce the tools that would allow the young creatives to develop critical thinking and make their artistic practice more informed and meaningful.
At the booth we made a small exhibition of the selected AtWork notebooks that came from the various workshops: Kampala, ….. It was a great way to bring the AtWorkers’ creativity to the heart of one of the most prestigious contemporary art events in the world.
In fact, for us AtWork is about working closely with the new generations of artists and creatives, implementing new educational tools and methods together with the students, learning by doing and then bringing all this acquired knowledge in the official contexts of the international culture. We believe that art has the power to transform the society and we were at Art Basel to share this vision with the others, inviting them to sustain the next AtWork format implementations on the African continent through the upcoming crowdfunding campaign. Follow us on Facebook and become part of the ever growing and expanding AtWork community.
Ph. by Ayana V. Jackson
See the exhibited notebooks below.