Sands of Time (Walls We Walk Through)

Residency Host: Nafasi Art Space (Tanzania)
Artist Collective: (Ala Prazis)

  • About Ala Praxis
  • About Nafasi Art Space
  • Residency Overview
  • Social Media

Ala Praxis is a research-focused collective transforming ideas into practical practices by developing projects that are rooted in the principles of environmental sustainability and earth centered technology.

Nafasi Art Space is a vibrant art centre and platform for artistic exchange where artsits come to create, learn, inspire, and share their work with the world. 

Nafasi Art Space hosts the Nafasi Academy for Contemporary Art, artist studios, and many active spaces and programmes for the creation and enjoyment of the arts. Regularly offer regular artistic and public programmes including training and workshops, art talks, and public events, such as film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and public art fairs. Nafasi also supports other artists and arts organisations across Tanzania via its FEEL FREE grant and incubation programme.

Nafasi Art Space is home to some 20 studios, many converted from old shipping containers. Studios are used to paint, produce music, weave, weld, sculpt and more. We also have a children’s art space with weekly classes, an art library, 3 galleries of different sizes, a large outdoor performance space, a music rehearsal studio, and many other spaces for networking, learning, and creating.

Sands of Time (Walls We Walk Through) is a proposed multi-sensory architectural installation that aims to raise awareness about the impact of sand mining and rapid urbanization that threatens the coastal city of Dar es Salaam. The proposed installation will make use of research material, projection mapping, sound and alternative construction technologies to increase active engagement in the dreaming of our cities’ futures, thus creating a sustainable and ecologically conscious future for our communities.

The geographic placement of the artwork will be by a waterside location in Dar es Salaam, anchoring the project to the social topics of coastal erosion, sand mining and urban construction. The public structure will consist of cellophane interior walls arranged in concentric circular rings which will surround a singular central element: a responsive hourglass sculpture, fitted with a load cell. Visitors will be able to interact with the installation by refilling the hourglass with sand, which directly influences the accompanying sound installation that will replicate the soundscape of the ocean and the surrounding city. As the sand level within the hourglass rises, the sounds within the installation will intensify, creating a metaphorical link between human actions and environmental consequences.

The construction around the hourglass will include the use of projections that will showcase imagery which relates to the environmental and social changes occurring in Dar es Salaam while also tracking the motion of visitors, supporting a user experience that is both interactive and engaging for the public. With the combined impact of these artistic components we hope that the installation can draw the public’s attention to the inevitable and irreversible impact of the ongoing depletion of Dar es Salaam’s coastal resources.

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STARTS4AFRICA is funded by the European Union under the STARTS – Science, Technology and Arts initiative of DG CNECT (GA no. LC-01960720). Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG CNECT. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.