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Artists-in-residence under the stars – The Namibian

BERLIN-BASED artists Banu Çiçek Tülü and Miriam Chebaibai Koch hosted an evening of music and art at Goethe-Institut Namibia’s Night Under the Stars (Nuts) last Friday.

Both Akademie Schloss Solitude fellows currently in the country for a four-month artists’ residency, Tülü and Koch invited local artists to improvise on Tülü’s exhilarating electronic music set while any eager audience members joined Koch in a free-spirited painting session.

The National Art Gallery of Namibia, Goethe Institut Namibia and Akademie Schloss Solitude have been organising the Namibia fellowship as part of the Namibia Initiative of the state of Baden-Württemberg since 2020. The aim of this bilateral

fellowship is to establish a long-term artistic and cultural exchange between Namibia and Germany.

The first event in a series of happenings Tülü and Koch will present during their stay, Nuts closed as an introduction to the artists who also hope to collaborate with local creatives.

“Music is a universal language, therefore Nuts was a very crucial opportunity to meet locals and share my music,” says Tülü who is a sound artist, producer and DJ.

“I have an upcoming DJ gig at MYNT Night club tomorrow. I am also organising a workshop about sound art.”

Koch, a visual artist, counsellor and activist currently working from a studio at the Katutura Community Arts Centre is keen to engage in similarly symbiotic projects and exchanges.

“I look forward to hosting some more live painting sessions and meeting other visual artists. I will do a pop-up art show/workshop event for the Afrosol Festival, an empowerment event for young people engaging with the creative industry, hosted by my friend and colleague Thabiso Dube. There is also an event planned with the National Art Gallery.”

As they work on their individual projects and actively seek local collaborators, Tülü and Koch, who have been in the country since December, already feel at home.

Koch, who has African heritage feels a comparable sense of home.

“As a German-Kenyan, Namibia feels familiar in many (sometimes distorted) ways. I am grateful to feel such a strong pan-African connection and to learn about the history, structures and struggles of this melting pot of a country, as well as meeting up with incredible artists and activists,” says Koch.

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