We are absolutely thrilled to share that our alum Helen Zeru (DAI, 2017) is one of the 12 artists who will be reimagining the future of their cities through design and creative problem-solving as part of the Creative Industries Fund NL & Prince Claus Fund's Building Beyond mentorship programme in 2023! The 12 selected artists come from Ethopia, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Egypt, Libya and Tanzania and work in a wide range of design fields including architecture, urbanism, digital design, visual arts, photography, research and performance. The artists will work on projects that re-imagine the future of public space, community and functionality in their own contexts. The program aims to foster thought leadership, promote criticality, reframe design-based practices, and contribute to an ongoing conversation on how creative practices rooted in locality and community can lead to new perspectives and promote transformative urban agendas. DAI's journey with Helen began in 2014 when she warmly welcomed us to Netsa Art Village in Addis Ababa: more than an art space and an art project: it was a collective, a studio, a network, a gallery, a garden, a school, an experimental room, and so many other things. Following the term “Netsa” (translated to “free” from Amharic), Netsa Art Village played the role of a hybrid-crossing space between the urban and the rural, the formal and the unregulated, the conventional and the experimental. Today it is so great to know that although Netsa, unfortunately no longer exists, Helen and her work continue to make the difference. Click to find more information.