Mentorship Building Beyond – 12 artists and designers selected

The participants of the third Building Beyond mentorship programme in 2024, a collaboration between the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Prince Claus Fund, have been announced. 12 designers and artists will work to create a new future for their cities through design and creative problem-solving.

30 January 2024

The twelve selected artists come from eight countries and work in a wide range of design fields including architecture, urbanism, digital design, visual arts, photography, research and performance.

four mentors

They will be guided by four mentors who are experts in architecture, art and design: art advisor and curator; Fatima Bintou Rassoul Sy, artist, architect, critical space practitioner from Sudan, Ola Hassanain; architect, anthropologist and tech entrepreneur from Togo, Khensani Jurczok-de Klerk and curator and cultural practitioner from Morocco Hicham Bouzid.

In the third edition of Building Beyond the cohort will be looking at challenges and opportunities within their local context and communities particularly around vernacular spatial and design practices, (im)permanance in relation to public spatial dynamics and holding space. Through their projects and practices, the artists will bring their shared realities and imaginations forth into their cities thereby promote transformative urban agendas.

meet the artist and designers

Akwasi Bediako Afrane

Akwasi Bediako Afrane is an artist living and working in Kumasi, Ghana. Akwasi’s works explore the idea of augmentation between technological gadgets, humans and the environment. He works with electronic gadgets which he refers to as 'amputees'. Akwasi refashions and repurposes these amputees into anti-machines he refers to as TRONS, which become potential platforms and media for reflection, engagement, and interactions. His current fascination with the lifecycle of these electronic gadgets has led him on a path of retelling narratives of Africa’s contribution within our fast-advancing technological world by mode of artistic workshops and documentary filmmaking.

Chantell Hassan

Chantell Hassan is an interdisciplinary artist based in Beira, Mozambique. Chantell seamlessly merges performance, installation, and spoken word in her artistic expression, and her primary focus revolves around decolonizing art, simplifying contemporary forms, and extending art accessibility to local communities. Through extensive research and collaborative efforts, Chantell aims to break down elitist barriers, fostering inclusive dialogues. She intricately weaves personal narratives and collective experiences into her performances, while her installations serve as conduits for shared memories, inviting profound emotional and intellectual connections. She employs performance as a vital tool for audience engagement, utilizing spoken word and interactive elements to ignite dialogue and foster shared understanding. Her vision extends through her organization, Kayisaana, an artist initiative aiming to create valuable opportunities for artists and children through art education. Her latest project will be extending to economically disadvantaged areas using public installations.

Doha Ibrahim

Doha Ibrahim is an architect and urbanist based in Cairo, Egypt. Doha engages with multidisciplinary projects that concentrate on participatory design action and regenerating spaces in historic Cairo. Her work with local grassroots initiatives, and regional and international partners has intensified her knowledge of Cairo’s complex urban ecology. Passionate about breaking the colonial and post-colonial heritage narratives, Doha’s current research investigates the possibilities of conserving and archiving collective memory from the bottom using spatial and cultural practices. Her professional interests also expand into academia as she continues to serve as a teaching assistant at the Architecture and Urban Design department at the American University in Cairo. Doha aims to expand her work into investigating alternative pedagogies and developing ways of collective learning.

Elolo Bosoka

Elolo Bosoka is a multidisciplinary artist based between Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. With his installations, images, objects, drawings, and see-through soft sculptures, Bosoka appropriates items from corners of the mundane urban environment to engage with notions of art as place, economic exchange, materiality, and history. Elolo received his Bachelor's and Master’s of Fine Arts from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. In 2022, he was awarded the Baden Württemberg Scholarship to study at the State Academy of Fine Art in Karlsruhe, Germany. Elolo is a member of blaxARLINES KUMASI—the project space and contemporary art incubator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi Ghana, where he is also currently pursuing his PhD.

Isabella Asiimwe

Isabella Asiimwe is an architect and visual artist based in Uganda. Isabella collaborates with skilled local artisans, a quality applied at varied scales in her ever-evolving multi-skill practice that spans interior architecture, eco fashion and film. She earned a degree in Architecture from the Makerere University of Kampala and a Master’s of Arts in Design from Goldsmiths University of London. In 2014, Isabella founded isabella isabeau: a studio embodying versatility and ecological resilience grounded in wellness, waste reduction, and local partnership. Her studio process embraces slow design with an intrinsic commitment to elevating native-making processes and techniques. Isabella’s ethnographic approach to design evokes an elevated material experience in her spaces. A lot of her work with the local artisanal community enriches studio isabella isabeau’s vision of expanding Ugandan Eco Contemporary Design Living.

Jesse Gerard Mpango

Jesse Gerard Mpango is a storyteller based in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Jesse is a founding member of Ajabu Ajabu, a multimedia curatorial collective based in Dar Es Salaam. Ajabu Ajabu employs participatory, open-ended approaches in its programming and events as a way of exploring de-centralized and communal forms of presentation, production, and preservation of audio-visual work in Tanzania. Recurrent within his work as part of Ajabu Ajabu, and as an independent practitioner, is the capacity for participatory rituals of imagining to unsettle and dislocate dominant narratives and extractive power structures. Some of Jesse’s recent projects include Manifested Belonging, a multidisciplinary examination of formal and aesthetic contributions of Dar Es Salaam’s screen communities, and a component work, the award-winning documentary short Apostles Of Cinema.

Khotso Lamola

Khotso Lamola is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, writer, and architect based in Cape Town, South Africa. Khotso’s work unfolds through a vulnerable process-based research practice where she investigates the emotional landscapes that make up urban space. She attempts to forge new modes in archiving to create personal and softer narratives about cities, to understand how one finds belonging and cultivates agency in spaces. Khotso produces research that releases the need to discover, in favour of the need to recover, heal, listen, and give voice to the silenced. In doing so, she aims to complicate what seems simple and advocate for vulnerability above all else. Khotso’s projects are explorations into how one can find new languages to speak about belonging to their contexts so that a spatial dialogue of equality is supported, especially in post-colonial situations. Currently, she is focused on revealing the precarities of silenced figures in the archive, and she spends time tracing their trajectories through history, distant lands, re-memories, peculiar coincidences, oceans, and emotional landscapes.

Michael Tesfaye

Michael Tesfaye is an architect based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Michael works with bamboo as a construction material that could address the current challenges of a rapidly urbanising Ethiopia. His work includes research into Ethiopian bamboo species, development of bamboo construction techniques, prototype development, commercial projects, and academic publications. Michael has worked on projects ranging from bamboo sculptures to university buildings. He has managed to publish—together with two colleagues—a 127-page bamboo construction manual that shows details on how to build structures of various types using simple tools. Currently, Michael works with fellow academicians, practitioners, and students at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development to bring the topic of sustainable bamboo construction into the mainstream.

Nneoma Angela Okorie

Nneoma Angela Okorie is a Nigerian curator and researcher currently based in Accra, Ghana. Nneoma has an interest in equitable forms of cultural production, archival research, public space strategies, and interrogations. Her curatorial and research practice is centred around exploring new forms of displaying and debating using visual, textual, activations, audio, or archival materials. Nneoma recently founded INCHIKOTA, a research-based practice, and a publishing framework for her inquiry into the potential of cross-disciplinary collaborations, and participatory and community-based approaches to facilitate dialogue, artistic interventions and play in framed public spaces. INCHIKOTA is also a culmination of ideas converging—a documentation of play, nonlinearity, and alternative strategies in cultural practices. Nneoma has participated in fellowships and residencies across various programmes, such as the ARAK Collection Curatorial Residency Fellowship, the 2021 MuseumLabs Programme and the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge Cultural Leadership Fellowship. She was one of the 2023 delegates for the Liverpool Biennial x British Council Biennial Connects Programme.

Oratile Mothoagae

Oratile Mothoagae is an architect and filmmaker based in Pretoria, South Africa. Oratile studied architecture at the University of Johannesburg and at the Graduate School of Architecture. He is one of the directors of SSL Studios, a multi-disciplinary practice that focuses on film and architecture. Oratile’s research reveals the hidden stories of marginalised bodies in archives, which also led him and his colleague to establish an archive to preserve these stories at the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Department of Architecture and Industrial Design. Oratile is currently the technical assistant at the Architectural Archives at the University of Pretoria, where he is working on developing research, films, and documentaries on South African and African design. In 2023, Oratile participated in the first Biennale College Architecture of the 18th International Architecture exhibition The Laboratory of the Future, curated by Lesley Lokko.

Victor Adéwálé

Victor Adéwálé is a photographer, film producer, and event curator based in Lagos, Nigeria. Shaped by his early interests in literature and music and having grown up in the city of Lagos, he uses photography to visualize the stories that matter most to him but are not popular in the traditional media in Nigeria. His work is human-centric, introspective, and reflective of his community and contemporary social and environmental issues.

Yasmin Abdu Bushra

Yasmin Abdu Bushra is an architect and urbanist based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Yasmin’s work seeks to draw attention to aspects of urbanity that remain obscured if global capitalism is the primary reference point. She works to recenter knowledge production on African identities and environments in the imagination, reading, and production of space through a practice that sources inspiration from and oscillates between methods. In 2023, Yasmin took part in the inaugural Biennale College Architettura at La Biennale di Venezia. Her most recent work on community organizations in Addis Ababa and Nairobi focuses on increasing the visibility of everyday works of repair and care in the urban in mainstream discourses and thus building ground for the imagination of an alternative.

meet the mentors

Fatima Bintou Rassoul SY

Fatima Bintou Rassoul SY is a curator, cultural practitioner, and the director of programmes at RAW Material Company, a Dakar-based center for art, knowledge and society, which aims to foster the appreciation and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa. There, she co-curates exhibitions, associates discursive programs and publications, including educational programs and international collaborations. Fatima graduated from Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) University, in Exhibition Sciences and Techniques. Before joining the RAW Family, she worked for several years in the field of hospitality and cultural mediation for private and public institutions, in Paris and Dakar. Her writing has been published in Oh! AfricArt: 52 Contemporary African Artists (2021) and in journals such as Version 6, Something We Africans Got #10; SWAG high profiles #2 & #3. Fatima has a strong interest in Afro diasporic trajectories and the way local communities embody those narratives.

Ola Hassanain

Ola Hassanain trained her focus on the subtle politics of space – namely, how built spaces react to and reinforce violence from state entities, which in turn, creates a built environment that reflects, responds to, regulates the lives of those who inhabit it.

Her most recent work explores an idea of space as discourse, an expanded notion of space that encompasses political and environmental questions. Her work tries to develop a spatial vocabulary that follows how ruptures presented by political events, make it possible to aspire to new kinds of ecologies. Ola’s development of critical spatial practice is partly informed by her post-academic training which includes an ongoing Rijksakademie Residency, BAK fellowship 2017-2018, and teaching in HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, and Sandberg Institute amongst others.

Khensani Jurczok-de Klerk

Khensani Jurczok-de Klerk is an architectural researcher, designer, and performer from South Africa. She centres practicing intersectionality through research and design. Her view of intersectionality questions and imagines how efficiency and narratives of the built environment can be more sustainable through ethically social and ecological practices. She is the founder of Matri-Archi(tecture), a collective based between South Africa and Switzerland that aims at empowering African women as a network dedicated to African spatial education. 

Her recent research at the University of Cambridge focused on typologies of safe space with aims at reducing Gender-based violence in cities. Through her multidisciplinary approach, Khensani finds educational value in spatial, written and auditory explorations centring storytelling as critical to spatial practice. She researches and teaches at the chair of Affective Architectures with Professor An Fonteyne at the ETH Zürich in Switzerland and collaborates with architectural practice Studio8Fold in London. She hosts a podcast called KONTEXT and serves as an editorial contributor at the Architectural Review in London. She is based between South Africa and Switzerland.

Hicham Bouzid

Born in Tangier (Morocco), Hicham Bouzid is a cultural practitioner and independent curator. Since 2010, he collaborated with several art and cultural institutions in Morocco and abroad. After serving for 3 years as a bookseller at Librairie Les Insolites in Tangier, he moved to Marrakech in 2013 to join the team launching Le18, Derb El Ferrane, a multidisciplinary cultural Riad and art residency in the Medina of Marrakech.

Bouzid is the co-founder and artistic director of Think Tanger, a cultural platform that explores the urban space and social fabric of Tangier through projects operating at the crossroad of contemporary art, design, participatory research and urban fields, featuring also an atelier for visual art production focusing on printing practices. He recently published MAKAN, a cultural magazine that tackles questions about art, architecture and urbanism.

His curatorial practice produces various outputs: exhibitions, seminars, talks & podcasts, open studios, prints and books. He uses all these mediums to reflect on todays complex dynamics of Morocco, studying more specifically the impact of the neoliberal polices undertaken since the past 25 years on the urban and social scapes.

about the Creative Industries Fund NL

The Creative Industries Fund NL is the Dutch cultural fund for design, architecture, digital culture and every imaginable crossover. The Fund supports remarkable and innovative projects, research and activities by designers, makers and cultural organisations in the creative industry. Through various schemes and open calls, the Fund’s Internationalisation programme aims to promote international exchange and collaboration with the Dutch creative industry. One specific component is the international programme Inclusive Cities and Societies through Design, through which the Fund stimulates the contribution of design to the Sustainable Development Goals (11 and 16). For this programme component, the Fund focuses on (knowledge) exchange between the Dutch creative industry and African creative industries. The Building Beyond Mentorship and partnership with the Prins Claus Fonds are part of this programme.

about the Prince Claus Fund

The Prince Claus Fund has more than 25 years of experience in supporting cultural and artistic initiatives in challenging circumstances. The Fund's mission is to support, connect and celebrate cultural practitioners where culture is under pressure through a sequence of the Prince Claus Awards: Seed, Mentorship & Impact Awards. The Fund has been a successful actor and liaison in the arts and culture sectors globally, generating possibilities for critical discussion and boosting creative expression. Because of its track record and autonomy, the Fund is seen as a global leader in supporting independent cultural initiatives of the highest quality with a broad social impact.