The residency program facilitates the traveling to and inhabiting of the remote destination of Sinthian in order to allow more people from different parts of West Africa and the world to come to this inspiring location. The residency is not limited to artists from abroad as it often hosts local and Senegalese artists. Too, we are interested in artists with a flexible but deep interest in the locality; not those with a casual or condescending curiosity of the "other." The residencies are an opportunity to create cultural bridges.
The residencies are awarded to dancers, painters, writers, choreographers, architects, designers, sculptors, photographers, musicians and others who will be able to focus on their own work while at other times interacting with the local community and opening doors to a population that has little exposure to ulterior perspectives and forms of creativity not local to Sinthian.
After being selected for the residency, artists discuss with the director of Thread and with its onsite manager, the program for their four to eight week stay. Each residency will be formulated around each artist’s needs, and the extent to which he or she hopes to engage with the people of Sinthian and Tambacounda.
So Thread provides a new environment for making artwork, but we also hope it will tap into the rich practices of dance and music that have ebbed in the region lately.
Moussa Sene heads up programming for Thread, outside of the residencies. Courses are taught in environmental sustainability practices, agriculture, English language, etc. The majority of this program, has been and will continue to be developed with the community. Artists are also able to make use of Thread's role as a cultural center in cases where they would like to collaborate with the local population.
This function, along with the building’s role as a water source, ensures that Thread is operational throughout the year, regardless of whether or not there is an artist in residence.
Dakar and some neighboring cities are quickly becoming recognized as great centers for art practice and conversation. While this is encouraging, rural Sinthian and villages of its kind, as well as the imcomparable region of Tambacounda, run the risk of being left behind, particularly during the current migration crisis striking the region. We hope this project will prove that these remote villages, rural areas in general, and the region have great potential to be centers themselves: of innovation, of culture, and of exchange.