Arts and Culture in West Africa

Studio Arts      Music      Dance      Anthropology      Theatre      Ceramics      Photography            Puppetry      Textiles


This is a Fall Semester program (early Sept. – early Dec.) in the Republic of Guinea – in the heart of the Mande cultural region that includes upper Guinea and lower Mali and is renowned for its exceptional arts, music and performance traditions. Students on the program study and practice (through workshops, site visits and lectures) a range of artistic disciplines in the Aesthetic Traditions course, as well as take Anthropology and French or Malinke language courses. For additional cultural and artistic immersion, students spend a nine-week apprenticeship period living in a homestay and practicing a primary arts discipline with a local mentor. They also take a 1-2 week travel/study trip to explore sites within the Mande cultural region.

“My apprenticeship and mentor were both beyond my expectations . . . I cannot imagine a more positive experience. It’s the experience of a lifetime.”

- Alexandria Petteruti, Barnard College

Arts Apprenticeship and Homestay

Each student is individually placed with a local arts mentor with whom they work closely for a nine-week period, which culminates in a final exhibit or performance of their work. During this time, students also live in a homestay (usually with their mentor) for full cultural and language immersion. This opportunity allows for students to gain intensive practice and study in their artistic field, as well as experience what life is like for an artist in Kankan, Guinea. See our Apprenticeship course for possible arts disciplines, including djembe drumming, West African dance, guitar, photography, theater arts, ceramics, painting, among others.

On-Site Faculty and Support

Program Director Nick Hockin, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, organizes the courses and leads seminars with the support of his local academic staff, including language instructors. Local artists and artisans contribute to the program by providing workshops and guest lectures. Professor Hockin is available to students at all times throughout the program to guide their academic, artistic, and personal growth

Click here for a list of colleges and universities that have sent students on Antioch Education Abroad programs.

The Arts and Culture in West Africa program was previously titled Arts and Culture in Mali, and was located in Bamako, Mali. In 2012, we moved the program from Mali to Kankan, the Republic of Guinea.

Check out the Arts and Culture in West Africa videos on YouTube


Students at the ndomo bogolan workshop