Living and working in Villa Karo
There are five rooms of 30 square metres on the first floor of the main building in which residents live and work during their stay in Villa Karo. The rooms are equipped with ventilators, mosquito nets, beds and linen, desks and shelves. There is also Lissa Gbassa; a building used for exhibitions and concerts that also allows residents to practise and work in.
There are two toilets and showers in common use on the first floor of the main building. On the ground floor, there is the dining room, equipped with a refrigerator, a coffee machine and a water boiler, as well as another toilet and a shower.
The first floor of the main building is reserved exclusively for the use of the residents and staff.
On the ground floor, there is a public library open from Monday to Friday during the opening hours of the centre.
In the evenings, the whole area is calmed, with the exception of Friday nights and first Saturdays of the month. On Friday evenings, there is a film screening in Lissa Gbassa, and every first Saturday of the month there is a concert on the stage of Lissa Gbassa facing the sea.
Some things to take into account
Grand-Popo is a lively village and Villa Karo is, but a residency, a cultural centre; thus, an absolute peace cannot be guaranteed for work requiring particular concentration. Still, the rooms are reserved for personal use only, and other places can be arranged when needed.
Working materials must be brought along. If necessary, the staff of Villa Karo can help find materials and equipment in Benin, too.
Those working with computers should take notice of the fact that power shortages and cuts in the internet connections are very common in Benin. One can thus not always rely on having access to electricity and/or internet connection.
Villa Karo is a multilingual and multicultural organisation with the asset of a strong cultural competence and a long experience on the field of Finnish African cooperation. The long distance between Finland and Benin is, however, a challenge. Both the executive director in Finland and the staff in Benin wish to receive feedback from residents regarding their time in Grand-Popo. Moreover, we hope that residents leave a document (such as an interview or a text) for publication on the site of Villa Karo as part of an information bank presenting the possibilities of the cultural exchange.