Lux mea spes

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.

15 minute settlement

Participatory research art project with visual artist  Nisrine Boukhari, part of “Un-titled” project research, Vienna 2014.

Through our paradox of a “15 minute settlement” we want to create a situation in the city. Is there a place for nomadic/wandering identities in contemporary cities? More and more,people are leaving the place where they were born and are residing in many different places throughout their lives.

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There are no more fixed urban settlements (if there ever were) and cities are not any longer inhabited by its citizens. People for several reasons are forced to leave their places of origin (political, social and cultural conflicts, economic situations, among others). Other people decide to leave their places of origin. There are nomadic behaviors (state of living) and wandering behaviors (state of mind). The mind and the body are in movement. These movements affect the places where they are subscribed. This is the question we want to address; can we have 15 minute settlements? Can we develop strategies to include the people that have nomadic or wandering life styles? What does it mean for a city to have a 15 minute settlement? This instant settlement makes a statement in the city for all the people that don’t have a space that they can call their own, but furthermore it raises the question about the necessity of identity. How are identities formed and more importantly, do they need to be connected to a space? How can a city handle contradicting identities?

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Apam stories

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

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Performance on site with the written stories in collaboration with GoLocal and Daniel Aschwanden, Apam, 2014.