Place: Republic of the Congo
Les Ateliers Sahm opened in the fall of 2012 under the artistic direction of the Congolese artist and writer Bill Kouélany.
This arts center in Brazzaville focuses primarily on the plastic arts, but is also open to other forms of artistic expression such as literature, film, music, and theater.
Les Ateliers Sahm provides workspaces, materials, and practical instruction to a new generation of artists and designers, supporting them in the development of their artistic skills and in their critical engagement with their own work, and helping them make important contacts. Every year between September and December, international experts give workshops and seminars on painting, video art, and art criticism. This is followed by an exhibition of the works created in these sessions, which are awarded prizes in several categories. Along with its residency program, les Ateliers Sahm thus provides Congolese artists a platform for their art and a forum for exchange with international artists.
Since its inception in 1999, the Centre Soleil d’Afrique artists’ association has become one of the most important actors in Mali’s art scene. With starting grants from the Dutch Prince Claus Fund and other supporters, the help and guidance from the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, as well as a long-term partnership with the African artists’ network RAIN, Centre Soleil d’Afrique has established itself as a space for cultural exchange and artistic encounters between young visual artists.
The association is primarily concerned with improving the working and living conditions of Malian artists and providing the space for them to develop their ideas and their art, with a particular emphasis on the further development and transformation of traditional media and on artistic engagement with social change and contemporary issues such as the environment and climate change. With its residency program, workshops, discussions, and exhibitions as well as its promotion of exchange between artists from Mali and other countries, Centre Soleil d’Afrique functions as a lively center of inspiration for artistic practice in Bamako.