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.
Our People Are Our Mountains and other conditions of Life, Residency Announcement 2023 and 2024. LAPA is excited to announce the artist-in-residence at LAPA, Brixton. LAPA welcomes Gugulethu Duma and Maf, Lamis Haggag and Mina Nasr, Lara Sousa and Nair Noronha to take on a period of 3 months of research and development of their proposed work. The residencies run for a total of 3 months where the artists work together in Johannesburg. Each residency hosts programmes and events unique to the artists and is announced via the LAPA Instagram page. We look forward to what their time might LAPA is co-conceptualised by the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and is a communal space to research, experiment and share practices of homing and becoming.
LAPA RESIDENCY RESEARCH
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:
Our people are our mountains, and other conditions of life
Taken from a text by Amilcar Cabral who prefaced ideas of unity and struggle within the African agenda, his phrase ‘Our people are our mountains’ (1972) illustrates the landscape and its metaphors as a condition of life: what is tied and coded between people into land and how it writes many other conditions of living.
Using this as a basis to wonder on theories and practices of collectivity, third spaces, shared inquiry and co-citizenship in which art becomes a social practice; this residency activates borderless states of being in new pan-africanism and African states through three main sessions: Enunciation: Voicing on many forms, Imbibe earthen processes and Contextual Landings.
Session 1: Enunciation: Voicing in many forms
A residency investigating the voice as a mode of multiplying, reconstituting and reconfiguring through practices that highlight the multivocal or polyvocal.
It considers the voice as material, invoking the many languages, tonalities and multiplicities of meanings, and the vocal, through forms of enunciation, as the unfurling of these multiple meanings. It invites perspectives on the voice and the vocal as a means through which we express our own reality and as the mechanism of carrying others realities.
Session 2: Imbibe earthen processes
This residency is hyper-focused on food and food systems as a mode of timekeeping, education and sharing, by discussing the ethics and practices of radical movements in relation to these food histories.
It negotiates food production, distribution and consumption in multiple cultural and political contexts by linking the earth processes with the gut processes and considers the preparation and practices of food as a mechanism of locating oneself within them.
Session 3: Contextual landings
Asking the questions: How does our context define our reading, how does geography divide and focus our attention?
How is it still possible to speak of a ‘here’ and a ‘there’ at the same time?
This session explores and works against concepts of migration as apolitical but demands this homing to provide context and its sets of terms; unconcerned with geographies but concerned with the principles of homing oneself.
Notes from the selection committee
“[The selected residents all have themes which connect to illustrate a landscape through elemental metaphors: the sonic through earth, the sun through food and water through space]” blk.banaana
“Just to speak on the elemental, these resources that Africa has a huge supply of but also in their use are quite limited. [...] how will these residencies speak to a larger context and how will we bring them together to address these issues and of course their aesthetic, artistic agency. A lot of scientific orientated people don’t think that artists have a say in these things [but from an African context a lot of noise is made through the arts]. Let’s see how we can really make a point of these things.” Bernard Akoi Jackson
LAPA residency is reviewed and selected by a group of professionals working in Africa, dedicated to artistic practices, research and institution making.
Each year, three jury is selected to advise and make final selections for the residency periods from the LAPA open call. The applications are vetted for quality of practice and intent of research, as well as the applicability of the work to a collaborative format and its sensitivity to practices of new pan-africanism.