Echoes of the resistance

4.png

“There is a type of drum that resonates as if several are being beaten at once. The same is true for certain voices and songs.” Achille Mbembe

Whenever one thinks about it, every political action – especially in the XXth Century – had to do with its vocalization. Our first element of protest, our reign of power is first and foremost our body, our voice. The student movements of 1968 throughout the world represented the vocalization of the student as a political figure, as an active and demanding member of society. The students took the streets and the public discourse. It was with the power of voice that a movement became a reality. Now, when we try to find more about the residues of the 1968 Senegalese Student Movement we are only able to find remains, minuscule particles of what once was a life, a vigorous and standing voice. We need to ask ourselves if we are not searching in the wrong place: in documents, in newspapers; because when a voice was so strong, as those of 1968 were, it must have left an echo behind.

1

An installation of at least 8 megaphones was placed in front of the library of the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal. These  megaphones automatically reproduced songs of the archival material of the Association de Étudiants Sénégalais en France (AESF) from 1989. This installation was activated as a night walk for visitors to hear the voices of the protest songs while walking the university’s campus.

The aim of this installation was for visitors to appreciate and to ponder upon the UCAD’s history and past students by their own. By reproducing these songs the architectural and historical materiality of the premise allow for reflexion and the possibly for encountering echos of the former and present students of the UCAD.

2

This installation was done as part of the Raw Material Company program for the OFF Biennale in Dakar, Senegal. This intervention was framed as part of the curatorial project The Revolution Will Come in a Form We Cannot Yet Imagine by Dulcie Abrahams Altass. 

Thank you to the support of the student association Karbone 14.

Handle with care

Mirror installation, 2017
Lagos, Nigeria

My body itself is a mosaic of heritages; my mouth, my hair, my skin color; not to say the language with which I express myself and my believes. We are thrown into the world with an inheritance and this inheritance is even more complex for the colonized. Franz Fanon insists that the colonized man is a political creature in the most global sense of the term and he couldn’t be more right. The history of many peoples was suddenly fragmented with a foreign language, political scheme, and Julia Kristeva emphasizes our innate foreigness. “Handle with care” is a warning to address our self reflections, our fragile identities, understanding that we are all already foreigners.

1

This installation was set on an abandoned and rusty shipping container at the Nigerian Railway compound in the city of Lagos. It was inspired by one visit to a local market where I saw this mirrors, they had a tape around them which read: Fragile. Handle with care. I thought it to be a great way of framing a mirror. Our fragmented reflections, our fragmented histories and life stories have been marked by the complex dialogue of identity, globalization, colonization and locality.

2

In some of the mirror I wrote quotes from Julia Kristeva’s book  Strangers to Ourselves.

3