The African Nosy Art Echange (ANAE) began as a movement initiated amongst three artists (Tahina Rakotoarivony, Meghan Judge and Conor Ralphs) in response to the lack of connectivity, intercultural exchange and resources in the arts between the Island of Madagascar and the ‘grand land’, or better understood as continental Africa. Founded in 2010, ANAE’s origins saw a vision for connecting islands around the continent with the continent itself, assisting in merging networks and finding ways of enabling movement for the variety of practicing artists. Over time, ANAE has solidified into the emergence of the Festival d’Art Urbain, an annual arts festival run by Is’Art Gallerie in Antananarivo, Madagascar, that operates both as an arts residency as well as an arts festival. ANAE operates through the Festival d’Art Urbain, finding and connecting artists from islands and countries within close proximity to the festival (so far Comores, Reunion, Seychelles, Zambia, Kenya, DR Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa) in artistic exchange with Malagasy artists. Working against the patterns and divides set up through colonial networks that are still in place ANAE opens up links into current networks that are strengthening across Africa and within the Indian Ocean by focusing on moving artists through seeking opportunities (independently designing if there are none available) and finding funding for residencies, art projects, festivals and more.
In a capital-driven art world favoring centers, valuable contributions by producers and critics of culture living at the margins are often missed. ANAE looks at individual artists and existing networks outside of the dominant institutions, mapping them into the larger global network of arts, as well as helping creating a title from which artists who prefer to collaborate on an individual level can manouver through.