Artist Kehinde Wiley announced on Tuesday that he will be launching a new multi-disciplinary artist residency in Dakar, Senegal. The program will be dubbed Black Rock Senegal and its inaugural edition will run from June 2019 through February 2020. The residency will be open to artists, filmmakers, and writers; selected artists will live and work at the Black Rock compound for periods of one to three months. The residency will provide them with accommodations, studio spaces, and a stipend. They’ll also benefit from the expertise of local staff who will help residents navigate Dakar, and a tutor to help them get by in the program’s three languages—English, French, and Wolof.
In a statement, Wiley said:
Black Rock Senegal came out of a direct need to engage Africa in a much more personal way. I discovered Dakar on a layover in 1997, back when Air Afrique was the sole provider of flights from the west to Nigeria. It was my first visit to Africa and I was immediately enraptured by Senegalese language, food, art, culture, and tradition. [...] As an Artist who works in the west I desired a space of renewal to explore new ideas and to create work outside of a western context—to create work within the context of my own lineage. Black Rock stands as the direct answer to my desire to have an uncontested relationship with Africa, the filling in of a large void that I share with many African Americans.