As part of the Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier exhibition, Alain Mabanckou has put together an original programme of African poetry and literature to explore the diversity of verbal expression. Encounters, lectures, stories and poetry slams... two afternoons that will bring together emerging and established African stars and celebrities.
With Abd al Malik, Kidi Bebey, Caroline Blache, Sophie Bourel, Capitaine Alexandre, Gabriel Kinsa, Nadia Yala Kisukidi, Dany Laferrière, Alain Mabanckou, Lucy Mushita, Criss Niangouna, Modeste Nzapassara, Soro Solo…
"For a long time, Africa was seen as a place of darkness weighed down by the most offensive prejudice, while the profusion of its imagination was completely underestimated. Are we to content ourselves with sending out the message loud and clear that Africa is the "cradle of humanity", to take a well-known standard image? It is far more important to demonstrate and illustrate that, and it is in this spirit that I prepared and taught a course designed to introduce Collège de France students to African literary creativity. This work is ongoing, and I would like to thank the Fondation Louis Vuitton for giving me a new opportunity to shine a light on a number of facets of creativity from the dark continent. We'll be looking at how women at the crossroads of origins write and perceive the presence of Africa in Europe, cross-cultural issues, Pan Africanism and the worldwide extension of African diasporas, with Lucy Mushita, Nadia Yala Kisukidi and Kidi Bebey. Transatlantic perceptions with the screening of an extract from Caroline Blache's web documentary Noire Amérique. Discussion with Soro Solo in a sort of 'African Two-Hander': we will then talk about our memories and the vitality of the music, art and writing of Africa. Talk about Africa with storyteller Gabriel Kinsa to hear the strength of its message, its myths and its legends. Recite Africa in poetry with actors Sophie Bourel and Criss Niangouna, or experience it through the rap of Abd al Malik and Capitaine Alexandre. Perform it on stage with Modeste Nzapassara to experience another Africa; the Africa that is born before our eyes with all its contradictions, its irrepressible laughter and its strength through hope. Africa is also a story of encounters, like the one I have maintained over a relationship of several decades with Academician Dany Laferrière, which has allowed me to understand the mobility and reach of this continent. The bottom line is that together with my guests, my intention is to send out the following message: It is time to reconsider Africa, not only through the lens of its meandering history, but also in the maze of the present..."