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What is AtWork?

AtWork is an itinerant educational format, conceived by lettera27 and Simon Njami, that uses the creative process to stimulate critical thinking and debate among the participants. It contributes to inspire a new generation of thinkers.
AtWork has started its journey in 2012 in Dakar and since then it continued to travel around the African continent and beyond with the vision to inspire a panafrican network of creative thinkers.

“We want to build a new generation of thinkers” Simon Njami

AtWork format consists of 3 main elements:

The key element of AtWork is a workshop conducted by an artist or a curator on the chosen topic. The topic stimulates the collective discussion and a personal self-reflection on issues such as identity, culture, community, etc.

As a final output of the workshop each student produces a personalized notebook, which fixes the process of self- reflection triggered by the workshop. Each notebook takes on its own character and is the reflection of a thought at work.


AtWork Kampala, photo by Clare McLay

The produced notebooks are exhibited in an art show, co- curated by the students themselves.

The participants may then choose to donate their works to lettera27 collection of ‘artist notebooks’, unique pieces of work created by different artists on Moleskine notebooks, among which Bili Bidjocka, Antonio Marras, Maurice Pefura, Sigur Rós, Marina Spadafora, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Giorgio Vigna and many others. The collection is used to help support lettera27’s activities.


AtWork Abidjan exhibition

All the workshop participants become part of the AtWork Community, a group of international artists, students, curators, cultural organizations, intellectuals, who believe that art can be a tool for social transformation.

Why is this important?

There is a widespread problem with the vast majority of institutional educational systems in Africa and beyond. Too often, educational institutions teach young people only to master rules and memorize facts, entrapping students within the boundaries of hierarchy and conformism. With AtWork we want to provide those young people with another form of learning, another form of knowledge acquisition where we expose them to other forms of thinking, and facilitate them to think differently, to get out of their comfort zone, to be free to question the society around them.

Who is the target?

Students, young creative talents, emerging artists, different types of audiences, groups and communities interested in the creative process


AtWork Kampala, photo by Solomon Okurut

Initiative’s history

To find out all the details about the format, its history, vision, chapters, labs, workshop leaders and participants, and to see all the AtWork notebooks created by the artists and AtWorkers please visit our AtWork website at

Areas of intervention
Art and culture for social transformation
Innovative education
AtWork - Colophon