18 January, Accra - Ghana: After a year-long program under Africa No Filter (ANF) where they were given space, funds and support to hone their talent, the second cohort of ANF emerging artists are ready to take on the art world.
The participating artists are Haneefah Adam (Nigeria), Katanu Kay Sanna (Kenya), Mahoutondji Kinmagbo (Benin), Mpho Tsuene (Lesotho), O’Plérou Grebet (Ivory Coast), Stella Tchuisse (Cameroon), Prince Ardayfio (Ghana), Progress Nyandoro (Zimbabwe), Yuran Henrique (Cape Verde) and Dylan Habil (Kenya).
They spent a year working on career-defining projects that showcase their various talents, from cookbooks, emojis and films to art exhibitions, documentaries, and photo essays.
They were mentored by TV producer Nicole Amarteifio, journalist and podcaster Selly Thiam, playwright and director Maïmouna Jallow, writer and editor Bukola Oyebode and Teesa Bahana, director of Kampala-based art trust, 32° East.
The common thread in their work is that it challenges stereotypical perceptions of Africa to show a dynamic and progressive continent.
Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter, said: “The artists were selected because of their promising talent, which ANF wanted to recognize and nurture by preparing them to go out there and create stories. The artists are also natural narrative changemakers. We are excited to bring a new batch of talent to the art world but also to add to the body of work that challenges stereotypes about Africa.”
Being an artist is more than just being creative. It’s also about being sustainable. The program was designed to do that by connecting the artists to creative entrepreneurs through networking sessions and masterclasses. They were also challenged to develop new methodologies for their storytelling. This allowed them to think and practice beyond their primary mediums.
Esse Dabla-Attikpo, Program Facilitator, said: “Art is a powerful tool in creating and presenting relevant narratives about the African continent. It was exciting to see how driven the artists are towards extending their creative disciplines beyond showcasing and telling a story”.
“Any new artistic creation begins with a blank page. To witness the canvas being filled with color, stroke by stroke, waiting to see what final picture will emerge is a thrilling process. The mentees had to dig deep to create stories that are not only rooted in their own realities but at the same time have the power to captivate the imagination of a global audience,” added Maïmouna Jallow.
Mahoutondji Kinmagbo, a fellow, said: “I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to take part in this program, and to have been able to meet other creatives and their stories. I am convinced that everything I learned during this program will be very useful for my next projects.”
About Africa No Filter
Africa No Filter is a donor collaborative shifting stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa through research, grant-making, community building and advocacy by supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms, and driving disruption campaigns. It is funded by Ford Foundation, Bloomberg, Mellon Foundation, Luminate, Open Society Foundations, Comic Relief, the Hilton Foundation and Hewlett Foundation.