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Netii Apa Storytellers Project

In the heart of the Maasai Mara, Kenya, lies Nashulai, the first Maasai conservancy created, governed, and managed by the very people who have called this land home for generations.
Netii Apa Storytellers Project

Studio Verde has been invited by Nashulai Maasai Conservancy to participate in archiving the community's oral tradition and to promote their model of sustainable conservation.

To ensure the fast-disappearing Maasai oral traditions are protected and archived, Nashulai is developing the Stories Café. Named Netii Apa, meaning Once Long Ago, this will be where the stories of the Maasai ways of life will be shared, and bear witness to a harmonious relationship with the land.

This Artist in Residence enables artists to collaborate with each other and the community in order to creatively correlate the stories that are being gathered at Nashulai: narratives that celebrate ancestral knowledge and 21st-century innovation.

The program will follow the progression of Netii Apa research and community centre,  which the community hopes will serve as an international hub to preserve and share their stories. The residency will challenge artists to think critically about their role in addressing environmental and social issues. It will encourage them to explore new perspectives, push their artistic boundaries, and develop projects with a lasting impact

Nashulai Maasai Conservancy in Kenya is inspiring a new conservation model founded on the principles of ancestral wisdom. Its mission is to conserve wildlife, preserve culture and reverse poverty in 5000 acres of the Maasai Mara. Founded in 2016, it has made remarkable progress in transforming the lives and landscape of its inhabitants.


Collaborating to take down fences and create a wildlife corridor, camps, schools, and a Cultural Training Institute, the people of Nashulai have combined contemporary and traditional ways of living to regenerate this critical ecosystem. In 2020 they received the United Nations Development Program's Equator Prize. This remarkable initiative, hailed as a beacon of hope by renowned conservationists, not only demonstrates the power of community-driven conservation but also showcases the harmonious coexistence between humans, wildlife, and the natural world. Nashulai's journey is a living story, guided by the timeless wisdom of the Maasai people and fueled by cutting-edge scientific knowledge.


“Our community rose up to save this place and become its stewards for future generations. Do you think we don’t know how to do that? This is the land where the bones of our ancestors are buried.”

NELSON OLE REIYIA co-founder of Nashulai

Netii Apa Storytellers Project

Introduction to the Nashulai Maasai  Conservancy and discussions on 21st century conservation.  


Artist talks and presentations open to the community.


Guided exploration of the Maasai Mara Natural Reserve. 


Storytelling led by Maasai knowledge keepers.


Ethnobotanical guided walks with Maasai naturalists  


Workshops/ skillshare/ collaborations 



DEADLINE August 1st at


11:59 pm CET, 2023


Selected by AUGUST

15th, 2023


Nashulai Maasai Conservancy, Maasai Mara, Kenya


FUNDED PROGRAM : We are actively striving to secure full funding for this upcoming program, ensuring that all participants can participate without any financial burden. Our goal is to make this program fully funded, allowing everyone to benefit from the opportunities it offers.

Covers local transportation during the program, food, tented accommodation in Oldarpoi Marra Camp, and entrance fees to Maasai Mara National Reserve, as well as ecological and cultural experiences led by local Maasai knowledge-keepers.

(Flights and visas are not included)

This is an open and inclusive arts residency and all forms of media and storytelling are welcome.


The Role of Indigenous Stories in Transforming 21st Century Conservation.

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