Lapa is most commonly known as an architectural structure in Southern Africa. The many-meaning word translates to a home, a space to gather and restore. Conceptualised and presented by the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, LAPA is a communal, experimental public project with a co-working office, reading room and residency.
LAPA hosts the Goethe-Institut team, the Pan-African artistic residency, as well as organisations and publics as parallel and connected programmes for the intersections of artists, communities and cultural organisations, to develop sustainable exchange. This new space and residency is conceptualised to address the need for communal space and art infrastructure within Johannesburg which promotes regional exchange in Africa and its diaspora. Housed in the Breezeblock building in the suburb of Brixton, LAPA makes an immediate connection with community and asks what kind of potential could we encourage when we are housed together.
Enacting the term LAPA, the residency becomes a space of communing, and ‘homing’ through artistic practice which can encourage restorative sensibilities.
As a collaborative space, LAPA facilitates residencies as a form of artistic research. It invites and develops modes of research and collaboration with artists working in the continent and diaspora. Learn more about the artists in residence research projects below:
Working in collaboration as an artistic duo, Wyssolela Moreira and Anita Sambanje, used their time at LAPA to explore the notion of rituals of passage.
Having noticed that these rituals follow patterns, this led them to thinking about life cycles and transitions, and the role of the Dikenga Cosmogram to map the journey of an individual's life. Their research at LAPA is based on traditional and contemporary rituals of passage and healing within Africa and its diaspora, with focus on spiritual systems from the ancient region of the Bakongo.
Our residency envisioned how the flat reed box, a common percussive instrument in Uganda, works. Seeds encased in reeds and bark cloth, rattle against each other in echoic memory.
In the Midst is a study of living, artistic duo Liz Kobusinge and Darlyne Komukama ask: How are we verbalising the things that are most crucial to us? What sound will these things make when they bump into each other? Or when we pursue release/peace/ease/joy/always reaching, always stretching? What shape is this sound taking in our bodies? How do these shapes we throw, layer onto our collective histories? What are our bodies aching to remember? What does it look like for us to place pieces of the survival we carry within us in new places, alongside other paradises? We find out, together.
IIII aka 2+2=5 or, the Brixton No Jazz Society is a research project to mirror the journey of my ancestors to address ideas around refuge and migration, home, and collaboration.
What I have done with the tools of music, graffiti and urban practice, tools that may be read as ‘not originating on the continent’, is to inform them with my own heritage as a black Zimbabwean, and as an African. One of my long-term projects links my passion for modern anti-establishment expressions such as hip hop, punk, reggae and jazz to the poetry, healing traditions and travails of my Lemba/ black Jewish ancestry.
Our' Bodies are Clocks Made of Water When Do 'We' Belong?
OUR BODIES ARE CLOCKS MADE OF WATER is an open window into the residency process by artist blk banaana (Duduetsang Lamola).
She asks how collage might perform as a method for visualising the re-construction of the ‘fragmented self’, and by extension, the histories and trajectories produced by this state. She reconsiders the ways in which ‘We’ might approach identity construction as a process of deep imagination and re-coding.