Figuring Fallow Time

05.04.2019 - 10:30 to 07.04.2019 - 00:00
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Workshop at LevArt, Levanger
Kàddu Yaraax / Mouhamadou Diol, Bouba Touré, Raphaël Grisey
Agro-Pastoral Ecosystems and Theatre of the Oppressed Practices in the Face of Climate Breakdown.

Friday 05/04 - Sunday 07/04
10.30 – 12.30 Lectures and presentations
15.00 – 19.00 Theatre of the Oppressed workshop (limited to 25 people)
20.30 - Evening screening (public)

Can we compare agro-pastoral pacts coming from West Africa and Norway, and their correlated ecosystems? Can we queer them and build multi-situated knowledge interfaces without reproducing neo-colonial patterns of extraction?

In this workshop, we propose to learn from the experiences and methodologies of the Theatre of the Oppressed company, Kaddu Yaraax, based in Dakar, and their use of forum theater towards mobilization for social change and political action in local communities in West-Africa. The workshop will navigate between visual and performative arts research, practices of cultivation and herding, migration and translation of situated knowledge and pedagogies. Through methods of improvisation, we will invite participants to bring their personal experiences into the workshop. We aim to create a resonance with (agri)cultural, post-colonial and migration politics in Norway, in order to think of collective modes of resistance to climate change in relation to the violence of extractive capitalism and neo-colonial imaginaries.

The workshop, organized by Raphaël Grisey and Levart, is part of his long-term artistic research project Sowing Somankidi Coura, A Generative Archive, created by Raphaël Grisey in collaboration with Bouba Touré. The research evolves around the (perma)cultures and archives of Somankidi Coura, a self-organized cooperative along the Senegal river founded by a group of former migrant workers and activists in France in 1977 after the Sahel drought of 1973. The exhibition, currently installed at Kunsthall Trondheim, gives a broad presentation of the research. https://kunsthalltrondheim.no/utstillinger/sowing-somankidi-coura/

The workshop at LevArt will be led by Raphaël Grisey, Mouhamadou Diol from Kàddu Yaraax and Bouba Touré. We welcome participants from different backgrounds, but there is a maximum limit of 25 participants. Contact us, with a short motivation note, if you are interested at this e-mail: anne.gro.erikstad@levanger.kommune.no. The detailed program for the 3-day workshop will be published soon.

Kàddu Yaraax (Mouhamadou Diol)
Forum Theater company founded in 1994, and based in the Lebou village of Yarakh in Dakar and active throughout Senegal. Trainers regularly host Forum Theater workshops for troops from different cities. Kàddu Yaraax works with the tools of the Theater Forum, a branch of the Theater of the Oppressed founded by Augusto Boal around the precepts of the pedagogue Paulo Freire in the 1970s. It uses singing, dancing as well as poetry in collective writing of scenarios. The Kàddu Yaraax Association supports community awareness of all forms of social oppression such as Hann Bay pollution (Dakar), the AIDS epidemic, the consequences of emigration, racism, armed conflicts and intensive farming. The organization is community-based. It has 17 active members, contact persons, who live in the project’s fields of activity and also brings together around thirty people who support and encourage its initiatives. The mission of the association remains the organization of community responses through strategies of diverse social animation. It also works in partnership with public authorities and NGOs to solve socio-economic problems related to, for example, environmental degradation and de-schooling. The association is also active in promoting new development themes, such as a “community school”, promoting solar energy, and human rights. In 2017 and 2018, Kàddu Yaraax, Bouba Touré and Raphaël Grisey collaborated first for the interpretation of Traana – Temporary Migrant, a play written in 1976 by Bouba Touré, and secondly for a workshop that lead to the creation of the collective theatre play and film Xeex Bi du Xeex – A Luta Continua.

Bouba Touré
Born in 1948 in Tafacirga near the Senegal River in the former French Sudan that became Mali, and lives in Paris, France and Somankidi Coura, Mali. He went to school in Tambacounda, Senegal, before emigrating to France in 1965. Touré lived in the migrant worker hostel Foyer Pinel with Siré Soumaré. From 1965 to 1970, he worked in the factory Chausson and took part in the strikes from 1966 to 1969. After studies at the Free University of Vincennes and in Montrouge in 1969, from 1971 he worked as a projectionist at Cinema 14 Juillet Bastille and in Cinema L’entrepôt, Paris. A photographer since the 1970s, Touré has been documenting the lives and struggles of migrant workers’ movements, as well as the foundation of the agricultural cooperative of Somankidi Coura in Mali. Since 2008, this working photographic archive has been complemented by video productions. Touré co-founded the ACTAF (Cultural Association of African Workers in France) in 1971 and the Cooperative of Somankidi Coura in 1977 after agricultural internships in Marne and Haute-Marne (France). He has collaborated with Raphaël Grisey on the projects Cooperative (2008) and Becoming Cooperative Archive (2015–). In 2015, he published the book Notre case est ‡ Saint Denis (Our house is in Saint Denis, Éditions Xérographes). Since the 1980s, Touré has exhibited works and given talks in France, the UK and Germany in associative and migrant workers hostels’ circles and more recently at the Contemporary Art Center Les églises, Chelles; Goldsmiths University; Savvy Contemporary, Berlin; Arsenal Kino, Berlin; Documentary Forum, HKW, Berlin; Espace Khiasma, Les Lilas; festival Theaterformen, Braunschweig; The Building, E-flux, Berlin; B-Movie Kino, Hamburg; Caméra des champs Festival, Ville-sur-Yron; Archive Kabinett, Berlin; Spectacle cinéma (USA).

Raphaël Grisey
Born in Paris in 1979, lives and works in Berlin and Trondheim. Grisey uses video, editorial and photographic works to gather or produce narratives about the politics of memory, migration and architecture. The book Where is Rosa L. (2001-2006) and the film National Motives (2011) study the ghosts of various political regimes in the public spaces of Berlin and Budapest. Through diverse documentary, fictional or essayist forms, Grisey’s films and installations deal with contemporary social and political issues such as migration and postcolonialism in France (Trappes, Ville Nouvelle, 2003; Cooperative, 2008 and Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive 2015– in collaboration with Bouba Touré). He collaborated with Florence Lazar on the films Prvi Deo and Red Star (2006), which deal with post-war former Yugoslavia. Recent film projects were made in France amid students’ strikes (The Indians, 2011), in China amid Míngōng peasant-workers (The Exchange of Perspectives, 2011), in the social housing complex of Pedregulho in Brazil (Minhoc„o, 2011), in the Brazilian Positivist Church in Rio de Janeiro (Amor e Progresso, 2014) and around marooned quilombola communities in Minas Gerais (Remanescentes; A Mina dos Vagalumes, 2015). His work has been shown in various film festivals such as FID Marseille (FR), Hotdocs Vancouver (CA), Doc Lisboa (PR), Forum Doc (BR), Berlinale Forum Expanded (DE). As well as in art centers including: Kunsthalle Budapest (HU), Centre Pompidou, Art Center Les Églises Chelles, Passerelle, Espace Khiasma, CPIF (FR), Casa Encendida (SP), MAM Sao Paulo, MIS (BR), MCA Chicago (US), Savvy Contemporary, NGBK, Halle Für Kunst Lüneburg, Archive Kabinett, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (G), 10th Contour Biennale (BE), 2nd Yinchuan Biennale (CN). Fellow of the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (2015–2018). In 2019, his ongoing artistic research Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive, will be presented at the Kunsthall Trondheim, Savvy Contemporary, Den Fries Copenhagen and Contour Biennale Mechelen.

The workshop “Figuring Fallow Time” is supported by Arts Council Norway.
Image: Performance of Xeex Bi Du Jeex - A Luta Continua in Deni Biram Ndao, cc Raphaël Grisey, Bouba Touré and Kaddu Yaraax.

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