The Sibarist

Kawanar discovers Foundawtion’s project

Kawanar is a group exhibition that brings together photographs, a collection of chairs intervened by artists and a short film that talks about the solidarity project of the same name developed by Foundawtion in Senegal. At _2B space to be, by Moneo Brock (Benigno Soto, 14. Madrid) until 7 December.

Fotografía de Noemi de la Peña, del CEM Kamanar.

“Improving the quality of life in disadvantaged areas by using architecture and design as tools”. This sentence sums up the mission statement of Foundawtion, a non-profit foundation founded in 2014 by the Dawoffice architecture studio behind the Kawanar exhibition.

This is the name of one of Foundawtion’s projects realised by the architects in the south of Senegal, in the community of Thionck Essyl in the city of Ziguinchor. The CEM Kamanar School won one of the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture 2020-2022 and is the result of an idea that emerged in 2014 in Barcelona and led David García (founder of Dawoffice in 2020) and Aina Togores. Starting from the fact that the school was overcrowded, they met with the local authorities to create a new secondary school, the only one to date in Thionck Essyl.

Fotografía de la exposición Kamanar en la galería _2B space to be.

Two years later, construction began (completed in 2021) using local material resources such as clay and wood, resulting in an educational complex designed to accommodate 500 students. This passive building revolves around the baobabs and mango trees on the site, which are integrated into the centre’s landscape. The centre’s tables and chairs are made by local craftsmen.

Silla de Marc Morro interpretada por la artista Claudia Valsells que se ha inspirado en el colorido de la cultura senelagesa.

The latter, designed by the creator Marc Morro, have been intervened by artists such as Antonio Ballester Moreno, Claudia Valsells, Flavio Morais, Guim Tió, Joshua Perkin, Simón Sepúlveda, Leticia Feduchi, Carmen Pinart and Mark Bohle and their creations are exhibited in the gallery _2B space to be, of the architecture studio Moneo Brock. Their sale is considered a donation to Foundawtion, which is continuing its ongoing projects.

Versión de la silla del centro educativo, realizada por Flavio Morais.

In Senegal, the Bajankusoor Vocational Training Centre is already under construction, also in the town of Thionck Essyl, with which they want to activate the local economy. It is a trade school designed to help families in the area to set up new businesses with the aim of making them self-sufficient.

Chaise S, de Marc Morro para el CEM Kamanar, foto de Claudia Mauriño para Foundawtion.
Fotografía de Noemi de la Peña, del CEM Kamanar.

The other project underway is in Namibia, in Gochas, and it is the Namaqua Kalahari Children’s Home. “There we are constructing a building so that 50 children will have a home where they can eat, sleep, play and study, far from the mistreatment, humiliation and even rape to which they are usually subjected”, says the Foundawtion.

Fotografía de Rubén P. Bescós, del CEM Kamanar.

During the four years of work, more than a hundred villagers were involved and participated in different processes of the construction works of the new educational centre. A large part of this process has been recorded in the images captured by photographers such as Jara Varela, Coke Batrina, Noemí de la Peña, Claudia Mauriño and Rubén P. Bescós, which are on sale in the exhibition, as are the chairs, the proceeds of which will go to the foundation.

In addition to these graphic records, the exhibition also includes a short film by Anna Huix, an original idea by Soon in Tokyo, Goroka and Foundawtion.

Editor: Beatriz Fabián

Beatriz is a journalist specialising in offline and online editorial content on design, architecture, interior design, art, gastronomy and lifestyle.