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Inspiring a new generation of thinkers in Africa with AtWork: a traveling artistic educational format from lettera27 and Simon Njami.
Inspiring a new generation of thinkers in Africa with AtWork: a traveling artistic educational format from lettera27 and Simon Njami.
145 backers pledged €19,108 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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“It’s important to create that new generation that will build the future we are all longing for. Now is the time for the new revolution in Africa. And the only weapon for this revolution is the brains we have, our ability of thinking.” Simon Njami

With this campaign we would like to fund AtWork Addis Ababa educational format, consisting of: a 5-day workshop for young Ethiopian art students and creative talents led by international curator Simon Njami and an exhibition of the created artworks at Addis Foto Fest .

We believe that the ability to think critically is one of the greatest freedoms a human being can attain. We also believe that people who are confronted with art should be freer to think about themselves. And only someone who is free is able to transform their society.

With AtWork we:

  • stimulate critical thinking and debate among students and young creative talents of the African continent
  • equip them with the tools to question the society around them and to drive change
  • connect them and create a space where they can grow and flourish

We are committed to spreading the AtWork experience to reach more students and young creative talents, more cultural organizations, artists and educational institutions to create an interconnected Panafrican network of cultural influencers and youths. This unique community of creative thinkers can have an impact that goes beyond a single workshop, and can help re-write the narrative of the African continent.

As the next step on the AtWork journey we are planning to implement AtWork Addis Ababa in December 2016 in partnership with Addis Foto Fest.

1. WHAT IS ATWORK?

AtWork is an educational format by lettera27 and Simon Njami that uses the creative process to stimulate critical thinking and debate. Under the leadership of an artist or curator, students selected by the local partner, partake in collective discussions and self-reflection on issues such as identity, culture, and community, producing a personalized notebook which embodies the process of self-reflection and critical thinking triggered by the workshop.

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

The notebooks join the lettera27 permanent collection, appearing in international exhibitions and in digital form on at-work.org.

2. WHY AFRICA?

“Africa is a metaphor for the world. All that is happening there is happening everywhere else. Africa is young: which means that it represents a marvellous laboratory not only to reflect on the past, but to think another future and another way to relate to each other. Like a “tool that must be useful to all”, Africa must function and set new standards.” Ref. AtWork Toolbox by Simon Njami

3. 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.

4. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

So far we have implemented 4 AtWork Chapters in Africa: AtWork Dakar (2012), AtWork Abidjan (2013-14), AtWork Kampala (2015), and AtWork Cairo (2015), reaching more than 200 students and building a community of more than 400 creative talents, artists and cultural influencers. Our next goal is to implement AtWork Addis Ababa during the Addis Foto Fest in December 2016. For this initiative we will be partnering with Aida Muluneh and her organization DESTA (Developing and Educating Society Through Art.) Aida is a renowned Ethiopian artist, cultural activist and the founder of Addis Foto Fest.

Aida Muluneh at Addis Foto Fest
Aida Muluneh at Addis Foto Fest

The 5-day workshop, conducted by Simon Njami, will offer young Ethiopian photographers from various backgrounds the tools to think critically about their art practice - a skill that is currently missing in the Ethiopian photography education which limits the photographer’s creativity and their ability to unleash their transformative power. All the artworks produced will be shown during Addis Foto Fest in an exhibition co-curated by the students themselves.

5. HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?

With your support, AtWork can continue its Panafrican journey. We believe that any relationship is a valuable exchange, so we have thought of some unique and meaningful rewards for your contribution that the AtWork community can offer you. As a backer you will receive regular updates on our activities, gaining an insight into the cultural events happening in and around the African continent. You will be able to connect with local emerging creative talents as well as the established artists and curators in the AtWork community. In addition, a group of AtWork artists have created exceptional art works, which are uniquely available for Kickstarter backers.

6. WHY KICKSTARTER?

Community. Art enriches the entire community, not just those making it. So we want to let the community enrich itself. With your support, we can make sure AtWork remains free for all participants. Kickstarter also enables us to share the progress of the initiative and the art made by the participants with a creative and committed global audience, spreading their message even further.

7. ATWORK CREATOR AND ADVISOR SIMON NJAMI

Simon Njami, AtWork Advisor, photo by Aida Muluneh
Simon Njami, AtWork Advisor, photo by Aida Muluneh

Simon Njami is a Paris-based independent curator, lecturer, art critic and novelist. He is one of the most prolific and influential contemporary intellectuals from the African Continent. His internationally acclaimed exhibitions have redefined contemporary African Art and his shows reached millions of people worldwide. Currently he is the Artistic Director of the ongoing Dak’Art Biennale 2016. Simon’s personal engagement with the African continent and its creative talents is his on-going mission.

8. REWARDS

25€ Set of two AtWork Notebooks large, white pages, cm 13x21
25€ Set of two AtWork Notebooks large, white pages, cm 13x21

 

30€ The AtWork cotton "shoe bag" designed by Kampala AtWorkers
30€ The AtWork cotton "shoe bag" designed by Kampala AtWorkers

 

40€ "Mix Vintage" lettera27 4 notebooks
40€ "Mix Vintage" lettera27 4 notebooks

 

65€ The Detour book signed by Maria Sebregondi, paperback cm19x25, 352 pages, English
65€ The Detour book signed by Maria Sebregondi, paperback cm19x25, 352 pages, English
100€ Leilah Babirye, "I care about you", 17,51x21cm Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308g
100€ Leilah Babirye, "I care about you", 17,51x21cm Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308g

 

100€ Amal Attiya, 17,51x21cm Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308g
100€ Amal Attiya, 17,51x21cm Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308g

 

100€ Alioune Fall, 17,51x21cm Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308g
100€ Alioune Fall, 17,51x21cm Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308g

 

100€ AtWork Chapters: 01  Dakar 2012 - 02 Abidjan 2013/14 - 03 Kampala 2015 - 04 Cairo 2016
100€ AtWork Chapters: 01 Dakar 2012 - 02 Abidjan 2013/14 - 03 Kampala 2015 - 04 Cairo 2016

 

150€  The Divine Comedy official catalogue signed by the exhibition curator Simon Njami
150€ The Divine Comedy official catalogue signed by the exhibition curator Simon Njami

 

180€ "AtWork package" : 1 Detour book, 4 AtWork Chapters 0-4, 2 notebooks, 1 AtWork sketchbook
180€ "AtWork package" : 1 Detour book, 4 AtWork Chapters 0-4, 2 notebooks, 1 AtWork sketchbook

 

200€ Siemon Allen, Title "Moleskine Notebook, 2012", 15,28x42,93cm, Hahnemuehle Photo Rdg 308g
200€ Siemon Allen, Title "Moleskine Notebook, 2012", 15,28x42,93cm, Hahnemuehle Photo Rdg 308g

 

200€  Sigur Rós, 25x29,5cm, Hahnemuehle Photo Rdg 308g
200€ Sigur Rós, 25x29,5cm, Hahnemuehle Photo Rdg 308g
200€  Maurice Pefura, 25x29,5cm, Hahnemuehle Photo Rdg 308g
200€ Maurice Pefura, 25x29,5cm, Hahnemuehle Photo Rdg 308g

 

500€ Luca Vitone, "Il Ginkgo resiste al Novecento" 30x40 cm
500€ Luca Vitone, "Il Ginkgo resiste al Novecento" 30x40 cm
600€ Pélagie Gbaguidi, "The Gold Value", 6 drawings 30X40cm, acrylic on paper
600€ Pélagie Gbaguidi, "The Gold Value", 6 drawings 30X40cm, acrylic on paper

 


800€ Enzo Umbaca, "A Map for Navigators…, 2009", notebook 9x14cm, map 60x80cm
800€ Enzo Umbaca, "A Map for Navigators…, 2009", notebook 9x14cm, map 60x80cm

 

 

1700€ Erminia De Luca Rizoma, 2004, stampa a getto d’inchiostro ai pigmenti carbone, su carta cotone, 66x100 cm
1700€ Erminia De Luca Rizoma, 2004, stampa a getto d’inchiostro ai pigmenti carbone, su carta cotone, 66x100 cm

 

2700€  Pefura, "If You Can Swim", c7, 2012 65x70 technic mixed, tar acrylic on paper.
2700€ Pefura, "If You Can Swim", c7, 2012 65x70 technic mixed, tar acrylic on paper.

 

3000€  Giorgio Vigna,  "Cosmografia", acquatipi ink on paper 1985,  21x 28,5cm each
3000€ Giorgio Vigna, "Cosmografia", acquatipi ink on paper 1985, 21x 28,5cm each

 

3000‎€ Aida Muluneh, Liberté/Freedom,  2014 Archival digital photograph printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 gsm Edition of 7 80 x 80 cm
3000‎€ Aida Muluneh, Liberté/Freedom, 2014 Archival digital photograph printed on Sunset Hot Press Rag 310 gsm Edition of 7 80 x 80 cm

 

 

5000€ AtWork Corporate
5000€ AtWork Corporate

 

Risks and challenges

AtWork is an itinerant educational format, flexible and adaptable to very different contexts. Therefore in case of the (very unlikely) occurrence of factors that would make the initiative impossible to implement (i.e political instability in the area or security threats etc), the format would be implemented in another African city.

The AtWork initiative has been implemented by lettera27 since 2012 and has developed a strong team ready to tackle any challenges that may come our way.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.12

    MULTIPLE PLEDGES
    Would you like more than one reward?
    Please pledge here by entering the total amount of what you wish to purchase and email Rossella.Zanelli@lettera27.org with your order so we can reserve your items. At the end of the campaign you will receive an email to confirm your order.

    If you have any questions call us on +39 02-36 70 98 00 or email Rossella.Zanelli@lettera27.org

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    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    As our gratitude for your involvement in the project, you will have your name proudly listed on our AtWork website and each member of lettera27 will send you a virtual hug. This reward is included in all the other options below.

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    Pledge €15 or more About $17

    A unique screensaver featuring the images of the AtWorkers’ notebooks created during the previous AtWork experiences as well as the inspirational phrases from the leaders and students that came up during the workshop. The future generation of creative talents right in your computer screen.

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    Pledge €25 or more About $28

    A set of two special edition AtWork Moleskine notebooks to keep track of all your creative ideas; plus our unique screensaver.

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    Pledge €30 or more About $34

    A cotton shoe bag (which you can also use as your computer bag or a backpack), designed by Kampala AtWorkers with the phrases that came out of the workshop titled “Should I take my shoes off?”. Four different phrases are available “Memory is a serious fiction”, “A calculated risk is not a risk”, “Complexity starts with simplicity”, “Should I take my shoes off?”.
    In addition your name will be printed in the AtWork Addis Ababa booklet that will be published as a visual catalogue of the experience.

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    Pledge €40 or more About $45

    A set of 4 special edition “vintage” Moleskine notebooks customized with the names of lettera27’s iconic initiatives: WikiAfrica, Share Your Knowledge, The Director’s Eye, AtWork. Enough pages to host all your creativity. Plus your name printed in AtWork Addis Ababa booklet.

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    Pledge €65 or more About $73

    The iconic “Detour Book”, which gathers the artworks of more than 300 authors from all over the world donated to lettera27. The book showcases part of lettera27's collection that inspired AtWork. It includes works by Ron Arad, Martì Guixé, Ross Lovegrove, Karim Rashid, Zhang Yuan, Bili Bidjocka, Toyo Ito, Nicholas Hlobo and many more authors. The book will be signed by Maria Sebregondi, the creator of the Moleskine notebook and lettera27’s board member. In addition, 2 AtWork notebooks to start thinking about your own artist notebook.

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    Pledge €100 or more About $112

    A limited edition of 20 unique pieces of the pages of the notebook created by our AtWorker from the Kampala Chapter, Leilah Babirye, titled "I care about you". The piece is a fine art print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308 g. paper. With the piece you will receive a certificate of authenticity by lettera27 foundation.
    Please click on the reward photo to see more information about this beautiful piece.

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    Pledge €100 or more About $112

    A limited edition of 20 unique pieces of the pages of the notebook created by our AtWorker from the Manama Lab, Amal Attiya. The piece is a fine art print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308 g. paper. With the piece you will receive a certificate of authenticity by lettera27 foundation. Please click on the reward photo to see more information about this beautiful piece.

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    Pledge €100 or more About $112

    A limited edition of 20 unique pieces (certified by lettera27) of the pages of the notebook created by our AtWorker from the Dakar Chapter, Alioune Fall. The piece is a fine art print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308 g. paper. With the piece you will receive a certificate of authenticity by lettera27 foundation.
    Please click on the reward photo to see more information about this beautiful piece.

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    Pledge €100 or more About $112

    A set of 4 limited edition AtWork booklets published as small visual catalogues of AtWork chapter experiences from Dakar, Abidjan, Kampala, Cairo. Complete with texts and essays from Simon Njami and various chapters’ protagonists these are little jewels for art and education publishing fans that document AtWork journey from its start. In addition, 2 AtWork notebooks to start thinking about your own artist notebook.

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    Pledge €150 or more About $169

    The official catalogue of "The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell reinterpreted by African Artists" exhibition signed by its curator Simon Njami. The travelling exhibition started in 2014 is a multimedia blockbuster featuring over 50 contemporary artists from Africa and the diaspora, which will definitely remain a milestone in the history of the contemporary African Art.
    In addition, 2 AtWork notebooks to start thinking about your own artist notebook.

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    Pledge €180 or more About $202

    “AtWork package”. Can’t choose among the many rewards? Well, don’t be hard on yourself, get the complete package! The Detour book, the set of 4 limited edition AtWork Chapters’ booklets, 2 special edition AtWork notebooks and a special edition AtWork sketchbook that the AtWorkers transform into art pieces. Now you are fully equipped to create your own.

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    Pledge €200 or more About $225

    A limited edition of 20 pieces of the cult Icelandic band Sigur Ros' notebook from lettera27’s artist notebooks collection. This unique piece is printed for the first time and is available exclusively for our campaign supporters.
    It is a fine art print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag paper, 308 gr. With the piece you will receive a certificate of authenticity by lettera27 foundation.

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    Pledge €200 or more About $225

    A limited edition of 20 pieces (certified by lettera27) of the Cameroonian artist Maurice Pefura's notebook from lettera27’s artist notebooks collection. This unique piece is printed for the first time and is available exclusively for our campaign supporters.
    It is a fine art print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag paper, 308 gr. With the piece you will receive a certificate of authenticity by lettera27 foundation.

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    Pledge €200 or more About $225

    A limited edition of 20 pieces of the South African artist Siemon Allen's notebook from lettera27’s artist notebooks collection. This unique piece is printed for the first time and is available exclusively for our campaign supporters.
    It is a fine art print on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag paper, 308 gr. With the piece you will receive a certificate of authenticity by lettera27 foundation.

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    Pledge €500 or more About $562

    An art piece by the Italian artist Luca Vitone donated exclusively for the campaign. 10 unique fine art limited edition pieces are available. Luca Vitone is part of lettera27’s art collection with his artist notebook. To find out more about Vitone's art please click on the reward image.

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    Pledge €600 or more About $675

    An art piece by the Beninese artist Pélagie Gbaguidi donated exclusively for the campaign.
    "The Gold Value", 6 drawings 30X40cm, acrylic on paper.
    Pélagie Gbaguidi is part of lettera27’s art collection with her artist notebook.

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    Pledge €800 or more About $899

    An art piece by the Italian artist Enzo Umbaca donated exclusively for the campaign.
    Enzo Umbaca is part of lettera27’s art collection with his artist notebook. To see the original piece that is part of lettera27's artist notebooks collection please click on the image of the reward.

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    Pledge €1,700 or more About $1,911

    A unique art piece by the Italian artist Erminia De Luca donated exclusively for the campaign.
    "Rizoma" 2004, 66x100 cm, stampa a getto d’inchiostro ai pigmenti carbone, su carta cotone.

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    Pledge €2,700 or more About $3,035

    A unique art piece by the Cameroonian artist Maurice Pefura donated exclusively for the campaign.
    "if you can swim", c7, 2012 65x70 technic mixed, tar acrylic on paper.
    Maurice Pefura is part of lettera27’s art collection with his artist notebook.

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    Pledge €3,000 or more About $3,373

    A unique art piece by the italian artist Giorgio Vigna donated exclusively for the campaign. Giorgio Vigna is part of lettera27’s art collection with his artist notebook. To find out more about Vigna's art please click on the reward image.

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    Pledge €3,000 or more About $3,373

    A unique art piece by the Ethiopian artist Aida Muluneh donated exclusively for the campaign. From her "The Wolf You Feed" series. Aida is the founder of Addis Foto Fest where we want to implement AtWork.

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    Pledge €5,000 or more About $5,621

    AtWork Corporate is a spin-off of the format offered to companies which are interested in pursuing meaningful engagement with their employees. For more information please click on the image of the reward .

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Funding period

- (59 days)