Private Project

Art Chooses Us

Four African artists from four different countries practicing four different crafts contemplate on what it means to be an artist.

Art Chooses Us poetically captures reflections on the African art scene through the eyes of four African artists. Most art from or about Africa highlights the sorrow and suffering of the continent and its people, thereby reinforcing the negative image generally depicted by mainstream news media. Though this image is certainly justified by Africa's harsh, daily realities and its problematic past, it also fixes the continent in an undeserved cliché of powerlessness and lack of agency and, consequently fails to tell the whole story of Africa, which just as much involves strength, optimism, and hope for the future, particularly among younger generations. The work of these four artists is fierce, stylish, beautiful, imaginative, poetic, sometimes even funny and entertaining, and at the same time strongly connected to their everyday reality with all its ups and downs, to their past and to their imagined future. Ultimately, Art Chooses Us is a documentary that shows artists who could shape an alternative narrative about Africa, more positive and uplifting than is generally told.

  • Tomas Kamphuis
  • Max Jansen
  • Sunny Dolat
    Key Cast
  • Kampire Bahana
    Key Cast
  • Kwame Sousa
    Key Cast
  • Yves Sambu
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Contemporary Art
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Sao Tome and Principe
  • Language:
    English, French, Portuguese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Tomas Kamphuis

The Dutch director Tomas Kamphuis has an insatiable curiosity for people. Especially for those who go off the beaten track.
Steering away from anything that came close to a 9 to 5 job his own quest took a decisive turn in 2015: together with a Director of Photography he took off on a 6000-kilometer bike ride through 14 countries, during which they created short documentaries.
When he returned they started a production company called ‘’Salt’’ where he, besides making documentaries, also worked for brands like Hyundai, Fujifilm, Heineken and Samsung. Thanks to his background in music and edit, his work has always relied heavily on rhythm.
Tomas’ professional life took another turn when he decided to start directing fulltime, and no longer run a company. And here we are.
‘I’m a positive guy, but I love to create tension to bring out the best in a story; joy often comes with a bit of effort. Plus, I’m a people’s person and would like to work more with actors and enrich my horizon as a storyteller in general – without losing the authenticity, sincerity and humanity of documentaries.’

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