Following its much celebrated inauguration in March, Thread – Senegal’s new cultural hub, nestled in the heart of the Tambacounda region, 700kms from Dakar – prepares to welcome its first artists in residence this summer. Funded by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the ambitious project responds to a wish to foster creativity within the remote village of Sinthian and surrounding lands, as expressed by respected local leader Dr Magueye Ba. Thread’s iconic building, designed by award winning architect Toshiko Mori, hasalready been embraced by the local community and neighbouring villages as their own place for leisure, learning and gatherings.
Named in homage to Anni Albers, Thread’s key objective is to enable the inhabitants of Sinthian and beyond to explore the infinite opportunities that art, creativity and cultural exchange can offer. Thread has invited artists from all over the world to live and work at the centre, offering them carte-blanche to create diverse programmes that will resonate with the community regardless of age or gender. In return Thread will providethe residing artists with a unique experience and the chance to learn from their hosts. Senegalese artists will kick-start the residency season with the arrival of Saliou Samb and Alioune Niang in July. A celebrated rap duo from Tambacounda, Samb and Niang plan to run workshops on self-expression.
In August, Norwegian knitwear designer Siri Johansen will share her knowledge of textiles – gained at the Royal College of Art in London – and exchange ideas with a community well acquainted with colours and weaving techniques. Concurrently, London-based filmmaker Ivana Bobic will work on a new film in collaboration with local artists and musicians. Also visiting in August is Aissa Dione, a textile designer with a studio in Dakar. Dione’s work is focused on revitalising and sustaining the Senegalese cotton industry and she will explore the potential for growing cotton in Sinthian. American reportage photographer Thatcher Cook, up and coming Senegalese sculptor Sidy Diallo and New York-based painter Andrea Bergart will be amongst the residents later this year.