The British Council - Botswana, in partnership with Thapong Visual Arts Centre, is launching an open call for emerging local artists to create engaging cross-disciplinary contemporary art projects. This is an inaugural and historic creative arts project which offers young emerging artists the opportunity to produce new and innovative work that will reach new audiences.


Three artists will be selected to showcase new artworks for an exhibition at the end of June. 


Deadline extended: 8 May 2019

Project Expectations

We are offering artists the opportunity to submit project proposals that demonstrate: 

  • Creation of new artworks that breaks barriers and is a fresh presentation of new approaches to creative art-making in Botswana.
  • Utilising local narratives or contexts and re-telling them through new perspectives. 
  • Encourages public participation and engaging social dialogue on a multiplicity of emerging issues.
  • To reach new audiences from 18-35. 
  • Versatile artwork that can be showcased in the gallery and in the open public space.

As part of the exhibition, each artist will be given mentoring in lead up to the exhibition by curator Melissa Hinkin (UK). Artists will be expected to develop presentations on their work, be available for workshops and to complete reports at the end of the project. 


Project eligibility and selection

This opportunity is open to young emerging artists from Botswana aged between 18-35 years. Applicants should send a 200-word description of their proposed project, a one page CV and up to eight images of their artwork or links to websites or videos. 


Applications will be selected by a panel of arts industry professionals from Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK. 


Project Budget

Each artist will be given an award of BWP 30 000.00 per towards the development and production of new artwork for the exhibition. 



Applications should be submitted no later than the end of day 8 May 2019 CAT to the following email:

Please note that late submissions will not be accepted. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email.

About Thapong Visual Arts Centre

Thapong provides a venue for the visual arts in Botswana through maintaining studios, Residencies and workshops. The workshops promote the sharing of art skills and stimulation of professional artists, school leavers, and art teachers. They can either be of two-week duration or shorter and weekend workshops have also being run.

Instructors are professionals from in and outside Botswana, if available, from other International workshops and the workshop Network generally. As professional visiting artists, they provide stimulation and a fresh perspective.
The Thapong Visual Art Centre was established in 1998 as it became clear that more workshops were needed with a full-time venue. Very basic Artists’ Studios have been built , the main house renovated and in 2005, the tents that housed the workshops have been replaced with an airy shed.
Residencies were being instituted in 2002 whereby a professional artist from another country works in Botswana for a two months, alongside local artists. Small outreach workshops are held and the artist exhibits at the end of the period with the Centre artists.

Art is for Everyone; it is about stimulating your creativity and being a whole person in a whole society. It is a way to learn to be yourself through expressing yourself and your ideas about life, your society, your being.

Curator: Melissa Hinkin

Melissa Hinkin is a Cardiff based curator and creative producer with a focus on socially-engaged, site-responsive and performance-based practices within contemporary visual arts. Her interests lie specifically in feminist critique of science and technology. Melissa is Exhibitions Officer at Artes Mundi; over the last seven years, she has supported exhibitions with artists including Tania Bruguera, Omer Fast, Sanja Iveković and John Akomfrah. Melissa recently co-curated ‘The Sky in a Room’ a co-commissioned durational performance by Ragnar Kjartansson at National Museum Cardiff. As a freelance producer, she has worked with artist Phoebe Davies on ‘Influences Nail Salon’ in Johannesburg, a three-week project engaging audiences through an activist nail salon. Recently, she has collaborated with fellow curator Jess Mathews on The Rejoinders - an experimental curatorial project and research network between Wales and India, exploring collaborative process, the visual arts and ‘in-between’ spaces.