Five Questions with Aïcha from SheAfriq

2 February 2021

Aïcha from SheAfriq tells us why she set up the collective, talks about the upcoming half-term workshops she'll be running and gives her tips on how to stay creative during lockdown...

Why was SheAfriq set up? And what is your role in the collective?

We founded SHEAfriq in order to create a space for Black womxn's work and narratives in Nottingham's creative scene. This is something we felt was missing despite having such a wealth of talented Black womxn in our city. I am an artist, art teacher and founder of SHEAfriq.

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Image of SheAfriq Collective

How has the collective developed over the years?

As well as organising exciting events for the collective, it has always been equally important for us to check in on each other as a family and lend a listening ear or helping hand wherever we can. Over the past 12 months more than ever, with all of the challenges our communities are facing, our collective's responsibility to champion, boost and comfort each other has been a primary focus.

What is the most inspiring cultural project you've been involved in?

One of my proudest moments to date was my artist residency in my second home, Senegal. Collaborating with Senegalese creatives and social organisations was a really formative experience that definitely inspired SHEAfriq. Another was Nottingham's first African Market which we held at Rough Trade. To see so many amazing creative businesses celebrating African culture under one roof and the joy amongst Nottingham's public in attendance was amazing. We can't wait until we can hold the next one!

What can those expect that book on to your Self-portraits with SheAfriq workshop this half term?

Expect to delve into ancient West African creative practices as well as taking inspiration from contemporary ones such as street art to create your individualised portrait!

Find out about the workshop and book your place

Tips on how to stay creative during lock down?

Change the way you look at your surroundings. It can feel uninspiring to be surrounded by the same four walls everyday but try and look for things you haven't noticed before: shadows your plants cast in the sunlight, the typography on your different tin cans, the pattern in your rug, the way your shoes are lined up in the hall... many fabulous artists make work from the everyday such as Hong Hao, Michael Craig Martin, Sophie Calle.


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