East Africa

ICI Launches Mentorship Program for East African Female Curators

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The Independent Curators International (ICI) in collaboration with the Njabala Foundation and AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions, have announced the launch of a six-month mentorship program for emerging female-identifying curators from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Image Credit: Njabala Foundation

The program, themed “Curating as Multiplying Mediation and Access to Culture,” aims to elevate the voices and practices of these curators while addressing gender issues in the East African context.

This mentorship will provide a vital platform for participants to refine their curatorial practices, access valuable resources, as well as engage in meaningful discourse. By connecting with established curators from East Africa and beyond, mentees will gain insights and tools to enhance their awareness and advocacy for women artists. This initiative also aims to cultivate a new generation of cultural workers attuned to the significant role of women artists and equipped to amplify their presence both regionally and globally.

Throughout the program, participants will engage in monthly virtual meetings with their mentors, running from January to June 2025. These sessions will focus on developing proposals for exhibitions or similar projects, with individualized feedback to strengthen their curatorial practices. Additionally, a midpoint in-person group meeting in Kampala, Uganda, will offer a unique opportunity for participants and mentors to connect and collaborate.

This opportunity is open to female-identifying cultural workers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, who have at least three years of experience in curating, working in the arts, or collaborating with artists. The virtual mentorship sessions will be complemented by an in-person meeting in Kampala, Uganda, the date of which will be announced later.

Ugandan curator Martha Kazungu founded the Njabala Foundation in 2021 to increase the visibility of women artists in Africa and its diaspora. This not-for-profit organization dedicates itself to achieving this goal through exhibitions, research, mentorship, and community engagement. AWARE, an NGO established in 2014, focuses on making women artists from the 18th to 21st centuries visible by providing free bilingual content, organizing events, as well as publishing materials about their work.

Application Guidelines

All applications must be submitted through ICI’s application portal by August 15, 2024, at 11:59 PM EAT. Required materials include:

– A project description detailing the initiative you wish to develop during the mentorship, including the next three steps for advancing the project (400 words max).

– A letter of intent explaining your interest in the program and specific mentorship needs (300 words max).

– A bio outlining relevant experience (250 words max).

– A work sample/portfolio (uploaded as an attachment).

– A CV (uploaded as an attachment).

Application Deadline: August 15, 2024

Program Dates: January-June 2025

To apply, see here.


Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art Network Africa.

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