Numerous students living at the student houses from the Cheikh Anta Diop university in Dakar, Senegal; go out every night to study under the street lights of the campus boulevard. Every night they go to memorize and rehearse words; words meaningful to their future practices. Jacques Derrida understands the university profession – professors – to be intrinsically related to the religious act of professing. To profess is an act of faith. Studying is, as well, an act of faith. The murmurs and the slow movements of these students resemble praying acts. Movements allow for knowledge to be embodied. The public space becomes their private-communal space. Lux mea lex (“Light is my law”) is Cheikh Anta Diop’s motto; strangely enough most of these young people are law students profiting from public lighting. There is a hope for future, a hope projected towards knowledge as a means to materialize dreams. Most acts of faith are acts of courage; these students are definitely courageous.
A dance intervention in situ (Cheikh Anta Diop University) with the participation of Pi Krump, Inas Dasylva, Bienvenu Gomis, Khadim Ndiayea and Clarisse Sagna took place in the main boulevard of this university.
A Project by Blind Date Collaboration
David Palme, Frida Robles, Gerardo Montes de Oca Valadez, Konstantin Wolf, Marie-Christin Rissinger
At the Transeuropa Performance Festival
Capital neoliberalism has emerged parallel to very complex, sometimes too evident and some other times very subtle forms of exploitation. It constantly develops new forms of commodification of life, creating necessities and reaching any possible human activity to be co-opted in order to profit. As part of these processes, today‘s market policies are dictating and administrating not only labour and the working life, but people‘s everyday life and the so called free time. In such context, free time is commodified and becomes a product to be consumed in the terms of the market. People are told to be free to choose and use their free time—when social and political, or exploitative, conditions allow it—but what often happens is that enterprises and market—also in accordance to policies—dictate the place, form, means, pace, time and logics of the consumption of it. It is in rare cases that the free time is genuinely self defined and self organised.
This project critically and satirically addresses to these issues as well as to the historical course of labour and its future possible trajectory in contemporary capitalist societies. It does not approach work directly but through what it is not, by means of one of its oppositional activities: the hobby. The notion of hobby refers to an activity that is realised for pleasure and does not lead to any sort of capitalist productivity or outcome.
Hence, we created a fictional company called Hobby Horse Ltd. which takes these logics to extreme over-identification in order to make visible the schizophrenic, directive and exploitative logics of labour. Persuasive and manipulative strategies of the market, commodification and administration of people‘s free time and life, forms of exploitation, bodily substitution and expertise as control are addressed.
“There are sad stories around.. a river underneath, a street and someone who is looking for a classic blue vest. People live, pass and go but their steps are still here alive and talkative.”
Performance by Stavrianna Daouti, Frida Robles
Video art by Adi Golan Bikhnafo
Porto, Portugal 2014
Participatory research project developed in February 2014 at Haduwa Arts and Culture Institute (Apam, Republic of Ghana)
“Apam tells a different story. There was a man. He was a fisherman. He came from a site called Manchi. And then he came here. But when he came here he was catching big fishes. In Apam we call those fishes Apa. I don’t know the English name. One day the man thought “if I stay here it will help me”. So, when he first came, he looked around and saw no one. But then he saw some smoke going up, which means that someone was burning something. And it was a definite sign that someone was around. So he descended to check who was down there. And he came to see a man and he asked for the permission to settle the animals. And he said “you can settle anywhere you like around here”. So, the man settle at this place. You can see that hill down there, close to the tree, that is where he settled. That place is called Acobrim. That is where he first settle. Then later he came back to bring his families to join him.” – Kobina Essandoh
Recollection of the local stories of Apam and Abrekum, Ghana
Performance on site with the written stories in collaboration with GoLocal and Daniel Aschwanden, Apam, 2014.