The foundation was established in 1992 in commemoration of South African artist and freedom fighter Thami Mnyele. The main objective of the foundation is to promote cultural exchange between artists from Africa and The Netherlands, and from Amsterdam in particular.
To this end, the Thami Mnyele Foundation invites African artists of all disciplines in contemporary visual art (painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, film, audio and multimedia) to work in its studio in Amsterdam. This short residency provides artists an opportunity to live and work in Amsterdam for a maximum of three months. The full-residency programme funds a sojourn of up to a year, provides financial assistance to help meet the costs of living, a budget for material and travel expenses from and to The Netherlands, health and legal-costs insurance for the duration of the recipient’s stay, and assistance with the application for the visa. The foundation offers artists a space for concentrated work, for reflection, for research and for discussion. To promote cultural exchange, the Thami Mnyele Foundation also organises meetings with artists and stakeholders in the Dutch art scene.