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.
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.
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.
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.
Students, young creative talents, emerging artists, different types of audiences, groups and communities interested in the creative process
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 at-work.org.
Kër Thiossane, Dakar, Senegal
Fondation Donwahi, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Al Riwaq Art Space, Manama, Bahrain
Kunstenfestival, Watou, Belgium
mARTadero, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Makarere University, Kampala, Uganda
Maisha Foundation, Kampala, Uganda
Polimoda, Florence, Italy
Nation25, Venice, Italy
Darb 1718, Cairo, Egypt
Something Else, Off Biennale Cairo
Fondazione Fotografia Modena, Modena, Italy