14 October 2020

Opportunity Description

Call for Participants 2020

Moleskine Foundation launches a call for international youth to participate in its itinerant educational format AtWork. We have planned 6 chapters in 2020 that will be united under the same umbrella topic: “What comes first?”. 150 participants, 6 Countries, 150 notebooks.

AtWork “What comes first?” a curatorial statement by Simon Njami, AtWork advisor:
There has been an ongoing debate between Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus on choices and responsibilities. When asked what his choice between his mother and his country would be, Camus replied without any hesitation, my mother. Of course, Sartre, who placed the idea and the cause above everything, disagreed. We are faced on daily basis, with critical choices that force us to take a stand or an action. The way we decide what comes first is never as fixed as for Sartre and Camus. There are times where we would make different choices and choose different priorities, depending on the situation. But the reality is that it is a question we shall never be able to answer at our full satisfaction. It is like trying to answer the impossible question: what came first, between the egg and the hen. Aristotle tried to venture a solution: “the domain of becoming is opposed to that of the essence because what is posterior in the generational order is, by nature, anterior and what comes first by nature is last in the generational order.” But we are all free to disagree.

What is AtWork?
AtWork is an itinerant educational format conceived by Moleskine Foundation and Simon Njami that uses the creative process to stimulate critical thinking and debate among the participants. It helps to develop the intellectual and emotional skills necessary to develop both a personal and a collective sense of identity.

Under the leadership of an artist or curator, the participants partake in collective discussions and self-reflection on the chosen topic, producing a personalized notebook that embodies the process of self-reflection and critical thinking triggered by the workshop.

The notebooks are then exhibited in an art show, co-curated by the students themselves.

The notebooks join the Moleskine Foundation permanent collection, appearing in international exhibitions and biennales and in digital form on

In the past the collection has been exhibited at Art Basel Fair, Dak’Art Biennale 2016, Art Paris Fair 2017, The Africa Center NY, Venice Art Biennial, Guggenheim NY and many others. The AtWorkers’ notebooks enter the collection along with prominent authors as Pascale Marthine Tayou, Nicolas Hlobo, Francis Kéré, Spike Jonze, Antonio Marras, Ross Lovegrove, Ou Ning and many others.

The workshop is open to students from every discipline, young creative talents and young education professionals.

To find out everything about AtWork format click here.

How does it work this year?
Each AtWork Chapter is made of the following:

  • a 4-5-day intensive workshop (typically 10:AM to 6:PM) on the given topic (see the topic section above) that culminates in;
  • an exhibition of the notebooks created during the workshop;
  • a community made of other participants present during the experience, and whose connectivity is continued online thereafter (via Facebook), connecting to the wider AtWork alumni globally.
  • Each workshop includes 25 participants and will be conducted by a prominent artist or intellectual, such as Simon Njami, Heba Amin, Moïse Touré, Andrew Tshabangu.
  • The Chapter participation fee is €300[1] (Europe/USA) and €150 (Africa) per person. The money collected through the paying participants will be used to cover the scholarships for the future AtWork workshops.
  • Moleskine Foundation will be giving out 20 scholarships for each chapter that will cover the Chapter participation fee. Travel and accommodation will be at the participants’ expense.
  • This includes daily lunch and excludes travel and accommodation costs.

The workshop conductors:

  • Simon Njami
  • Moise Touré
  • Heba Amin
  • Andrew Tshabangu

Chapters and Application deadlines for the workshops.

  • AtWork Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – Partners: Goethe Institut; National Museum of Ouagadougou conducted by Moïse Touré
    when: 20 -24 April 2020 – application deadline: March 20th, 2020
  • AtWork Johannesburg (South Africa) – Partner: Constitution Hill conducted by Simon Njami/Andrew Tshabangu
    when: 15-19 June 2020 – application deadline: May 15th, 2020
  • AtWork Maputo (Mozambique) – Partners: Pwfura Ndzilo; ANIMA conducted by Simon Njami
    when: 20-24 July 2020 – application deadline: June 15th, 2020
  • AtWork Libreville (Gabon) – Partners: ONG Mukasa and Musée National des Arts et Traditions du Gabon conducted by Moïse Touré
    when: 1-5 October 2020 – application deadline: September 1st, 2020
  • AtWork Dubai (UAE) – Partners: The University of Future and Expo Dubai 2020 conducted by Heba Amin/Simon Njami
    when: October 2020 – application deadline: September 15th, 2020
  • AtWork New York (USA) – Partner: The Africa Center conducted by TBD
    when: November 2020 – application deadline: October 2020


How to Apply