Resource of
Open Minds

Resource of Open Minds (R.O.O.M.) supports the creative work of a new generation of artists, musicians, filmmakers and content creators who investigate and challenge the status quo in the societies in which they live. R.O.O.M. is the place for these creative futurists: young people who have a critical independent mindset and a do-it-yourself attitude.

As Hivos, we believe that creative and critical art has the power to question hegemonic structures in society, to create alternative narratives, imagine new realities, and bring about progressive social change. We aim to contribute to the diversification of dialogue, debate and dissent in society. The program is build around the following five pillars

1. Direct support for creative and critical talent

Artists, musicians and content creators in Africa and the Middle East receive financial support in the form of grants. Recipients are selected on the basis of their artistic imagination and their ability to produce independent and conscious work that challenges or questions norms in society.

2. Strengthening skills and networks

Professional training trajectories ranging from entrepreneurship to filmmaking, gamification and digital security are being offered to a diverse group of individual artists, musicians, cultural entrepreneurs and activists. Additionally, with the British Council and Nesta we have developed Creative Hub: Learn. This professional training toolkit is being offered to the conveners and leaders of creative hubs such as makerspaces, music studios, fablabs, co-working spaces, design hubs and art spaces.

3. African Crossroads

African Crossroads is a retreat and think tank and community of future-oriented African thinkers and doers. Every year the community meets to exchange and critically reflect on the most cutting-edge entrepreneurial, scientific, artistic, and technological developments anchored in African intellectual and technological traditions. Through design exhibitions, invigorating workshops, art installations and more, this recurring retreat and think tank will spark deep discussions about the latest inventions and innovations in science, art, and technology. The first African Crossroads took place in Marrakesh, Morocco. The topic was the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

4. Digital Earth

Digital Earth is a six-monthlong fellowship for artists and designers based in Africa or Asia to research and experiment with and around the materiality and immateriality of the digital reality. The fellowship has been developed in collaboration with the British Council and will take place between October 2018 and March 2019. Digital Earth offers a monthly stipend for participants to conduct research and produce new artistic work. Digital Earth also offers a research and production infrastructure consisting of courses by leading scholars; residencies at research centres in Asia and Africa and mentoring by internationally renowned artists and researchers. At the end of the fellowship the outcomes will be showcased during a roaming international exhibition.

5. The Force of Art

Fifteen academic research teams, composed of art historians, philosophers and sociologists from around the world, are looking at the role of art in transforming people and their social surroundings. The teams are investigating various examples from the Hivos network, such as art spaces, festivals and artworks. The outcome will be an academic publication to be presented during a symposium in 2020. The Force of Art is a collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund and the European Cultural Foundation.

R.O.O.M. is initiated by Hivos and generously supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the British Council.