What we do

We are IFAA, an international – cross -disciplinary festival and artist in residency platform that takes place in different cities across the globe. Our IFAA residency and festival are set up as an ephemeral space of encounter, facilitating creativity and knowledge production by bringing together artists from all over the world interested in collaborations that:

• Nurture creativity and sharing of knowledge
• Facilitate critical artistic discourse
• Create knowledge reservoirs that strengthen intellectual activity at the same time enabling regional and international collaborations that not only benefit the artists and partner institutions but also benefit and strengthen their communities
• Build networks, strengthen collaborative links and accessibility of information
• Encourage cross – disciplinary artistic exchanges focused on process rather than result
• Strengthen cross-cultural knowledge exchange

Background of IFAA

The 2008 IFAA pilot project was initiated and Produced by Thamgidi Foundation Executive Director and IFAA artistic director S’thabile Mlotshwa. From its onset, IFAA was built to be a platform that celebrates a “Culture of Cultures” bringing together professional and emerging artists from across the globe to temporarily live and work together and most importantly to share and exchange knowledge, amongst each other and most importantly with diverse audiences.
As a pilot project, the focus of 2008 IFAA was on contemporary visual arts, including education, film, music, contemporary dance, culinary, performing arts, fashion, a curatorial platform, debates, public space projects, literature, and poetry.

To make IFAA possible, Thamgidi partnered with 25 regional, national and international Arts and cultural organizations with the aim of creating an international platform for the Gelderland region.

The 2008 IFAA partners included funding bodies, cultural institutions, the corporate sector and governmental institutions. Although the 2008 IFAA was initiated with the intention of creating a biannual event, its success turned IFAA into a project that now takes place in different cities across the globe.

The spin-off from the 2008 IFAA resulted in the 2009 IFAA traveling exhibition shown within the Africa 53 project curated by artist and curator Kevin Dalton Johnson – 2008 IFAA participant and done in partnership with The CIVIC , The Cooper Gallery and Barnsley Metropolitan borough council, UK. In the same year, Stichting Art in Redlight partnered with Thamgidi Foundation and IFAA for the Major IFAA travelling exhibition that included an artist in residency and table of discussions, in Amsterdam, with the Apes Container on their project How Much is Enough. As a result of the above success Thamgidi Foundation received a proposal and invitation from Beijing Studio Centre, for IFAA to be realized in Beijing. This led to a 2010 visit to Beijing, China by Thamgidi Foundation.

Current developments within the IFAA Art Platform include:

• The development of 2012 IFAA in Belgium, done in partnership with Au Fil de la Terre ASBL
• The development of IFAA 2013 in Ghana through a partnership and proposal by Art in Aktion.


Thamgidi Foundation started IFAA after the first delegation visit of Res Artis to the 2006 Dakart biennale in Senegal www.biennaledakar.org , with the purpose of creating a platform that would facilitate strong collaborative links between artists from Africa and artists from across the globe. The Res Artis visit was the first step aimed at implementing long lasting contacts with Africa and to increase memberships from this region of the world.

During this visit, eleven fully funded residencies were awarded to biennial artists by the Res Artis members in attendance. Among the delegation was Thamgidi Foundation who gave two fully funded grants to Safaa Erruas SAFAA ERRUAS from Morocco and Misheck Masamvu from Zimbabwe. As an organization initiated by an artist from Zimbabwe, Thamgidi Foundation is aware of the need for creative and critical platforms in and outside the African continent that can facilitate and strengthen international artistic collaborations.

It is with this reason that Thamgidi foundation built the IFAA art platform with the purpose of ensuring continuity of the links that were built in 2006 at the Dakart biennale but most importantly to enable more artistic exchanges to strengthen the links of international cross-cultural exchange that.

Artists who received the Res Artis Awards in 2006 at the Dakart biennale were the first to take part in IFAA 2008. The visit of Res Artis to Senegal initiated by Ngone Fall, thus paved the way to create strong links of artists in residency exchange between artists from Africa and Europe to begin with. Since inception, IFAA continues to strengthen cross-cultural artists in residency exchange. This is thanks to the 2008 partners among them;

Exhibitions Arnhem
Exhibitions Nijmegen