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LAPA: Residency for Duos/Collectives, 'Our People Are Our Mountains' (South Africa)

Our people are our mountains, and other conditions of life.

Housed in the Breezeblock building in the suburb of Brixton, Johannesburg, LAPA is a place to gather, for collaboration, experimentation and developing new trajectories in artistic practice. LAPA makes its connection with communities and asks what kind of potential could we encourage when we are housed together. Enacting the term LAPA, the residency becomes a space of communing to explore themes of home, family and place.

In 2023 the open call extends within Africa to expand on the continental network and establish necessary travel and connection.

The residency ideates on borderless states of being as a way to consider new pan-africanism and African states. This is beyond language but underpinned by modes of speaking through the visual, sonic, digital and more.

Taken from a text by Amilcar Cabral who prefaced ideas of unity and struggle within the African agenda, the phrase ‘Our people are our mountains’ illustrates the landscape and its metaphors as a condition of life: what is tied and coded between people into land and how it writes many other conditions of living.

Artists apply to one of three separate residency sessions:

  • Session 1 - Enunciation: Voicing in many forms: 1 September – 25 November 2023.
  • Session 2 – Imbibe earthen processes: 5 February – 27 April 2024.
  • Session 3 – Contextual landings: 2 September – 23 November 2024.

LAPA is developed for artists across all disciplines, based in Africa, who have been professionally active for at least 6 years. Priority will be given to pairings working on the continent or between the continent and the diaspora, understanding that these links exist in dynamic and political ways. The duo/pair/collective will seek to expand their working relationship to continue developing their artistic language and research. The residency can accommodate up to two representatives from an artist collective.

The organisers cover travel to and from LAPA (return flight and ground travel from OR Tambo Intl. Airport to Brixton, Johannesburg) and monthly living/subsistence costs. There is also a fee of 6000 ZAR/month (each) to cover basic living expenses and materials and resources. A separate budget allocation is made for the artist’s production budget and a public moment.


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