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The Waaw residency programme is open to artists and academics seeking inspiration in the unique environment and/or wishing to work, study or interact with other professionals and the local community.

The Waaw centre is situated in an old townhouse in the colonial town of Saint-Louis, on an island in the Senegal river, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic.

The Waaw house itself comprises studios for 5 artists, a meeting room/library, a kitchenette and a common courtyard. Workspaces for special purposes can be rented elsewhere in town. Accommodation is provided in a large house at walking distance, hosted by a Senegalese family. You will have your private furnished bedroom, but kitchen and common spaces are shared with other guests.

Buildings are centrally situated in Saint-Louis, surrounded by colourful, Senegalese everyday life, but we understand visiting artists’ need for peace and personal space, and for this reason, Waaw is open to the public for special events only.

The residency fee covers accommodation, workspace and project assistance before and during the residency, including help with research and finding contacts in Senegal. There is wifi but, as in Africa in general, the connection is slow. Why not take time off the net while in Senegal, in order to live fully in the present?

Waaw is open to professionals in all art disciplines, but visual arts, crafts and design are of particular interest. Researchers and journalists are welcome, too. We favour projects with relevance to the Senegalese context.

Next deadline for general residencies for artists:  September 2020 (for February-April 2021). NB! We sometimes have space available also at short notice. Special calls are published on our website.

No grants are available.

See our website for more information.

Residency Programme since: 2012
Description of Organisation:

The aim of the Waaw centre is to promote African and Senegalese culture and encourage exchanges between people who are active in the creative field.

Waaw is run by experienced volunteers from Finland, in cooperation with various Senegalese cultural actors. It is an independent non-profit institution, not financed by any public body, and it has no links to any foreign government. Over the course of seven years, Waaw has hosted 200 artists from all over the world and built a network of contacts in Saint-Louis and Dakar. Waaw has an on-site gallery, Ethiopiques, dedicated to contemporary art and various forms of Senegalese and African art.

Please see our website and Facebook page for documentation of our projects.

Organisation founded in: 2009
What type of organisation are you?:
  • Artist-Run
  • Independent Association/Foundation
Working Languages:
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Swedish
Presentation of artists’ work: Arranged on a case-by-case basis
Duration of residency:
  • Months: 1
  • Months: 2
  • Months: 3
Number of studios: 5
Number of artists in residence at one time: 5
Studio type and size: N/A
Accommodation type:
Private Room
Shared Room
Which disciplines does your residency cater to?:
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Dance
  • Performing Arts
  • Textile Art
  • Music
  • Literature
  • Film-making
  • Architecture
  • Curatorial
What practical facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Kitchen
  • Internet
  • Library
What artistic facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Exhibition space
  • Library/research resources
  • Musical-instruments
  • Woodworking tools
  • Technical assistance
  • Promotional services
Is your residency wheelchair accessible?: No
Companions Allowed:
  • Partners
  • Does your residency uphold partnerships beneficial to resident artists? : With silversmiths and reverse glass painters, music and dance teachers: classes and workshops offered; with a sound recording studio; with educational institutions (primary and secondary schools)
    Application process: Open call
    Do you charge an application fee for your residency?: No
    Do you charge a residency fee for your residency?: Yes
    If yes, what is the residency fee? (in your local currency): 550 Euro per month, reduction for a longer stay or shared accommodation
    Do you provide the residents with any funds associated with the residency? (e.g. stipend, fellowship, production allowance): No
    Expenses paid by the artist:
    • Travel
    • Food
    • Supplies
    Expenses paid by the organisation:
    • Other
    If other, please specify: Project assistance before, during and after the residency. Exhibition space. Publicity for events, exhibitions etc.
    Are artists expected to do one of the following during their residency stay?:
    • Public talk
    • Other
    Other activities happening at the space:
    • Presentation
    • Exhibition
    Selection process: By committee
    Setting: Urban
    Nearest Airport: Dakar Blaise Diagne, 3.5 hrs away by car
    How to reach by car: Waaw is situated right in the middle of the Saint-Louis old town, 1 km north of the Faidherbe Bridge.We organise transport from Dakar for Waaw residents.
    Street & Number: rue Blaise Diagne 443 x Ibnou Wara Talibé, Ile Nord
    Postal Code: 32000
    City: Saint-Louis
    Country long: Senegal
    rue Blaise Diagne 443 x Ibnou Wara Talibé, Ile Nord
    Saint-Louis 32000 SEN
    Get directions