Nù Barreto "Immersion, submersion" - 2017 © Nù Barreto - Courtesy ​LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery

Les Rencontres AKAA 



The 2017 edition of the RENCONTRES AKAA, curated by Salimata Diop, celebrates artists whose creative process relates to healing.

When we are blind, artists heal us and warn us of a threatening future: visionary by essence, they offer an unexpected perspective.
When we are displaced, artists heal us and revive our inherited memories, giving us back our history. They comfort and sooth us.
When we turn our gaze away, artists heal us and, pointing at the mirror, make us face both our denial and responsibility.
Artists heal us, embrace our voids and fill them with hope for a new day. Thus, as true catalysts for change, contemporary artists unveil our traumas and eliminate them one by one.

After taking us into intriguing visual journeys through diverse artistic practices, LES RENCONTRES AKAA invite you to reconnect with our aches, whether individual or collective, whether denied or conscious: aches that are ruthlessly highlighted by artists.

Our guests for this edition – artists, curators, philosophers and writers – will discuss according to the following postulate: “When men and society are ill, can art heal them?”

All day long – AKAA Underground

The Mating Dance – Performance

Lady Skollie
Live mural painting.

2pm – 5pm – Booth A11 Galerie 127

Le Mariage – Performance

Mohamed Baala
Action Painting.

8:30pm – Booth A9 Berman Contemporary

Battered Passage – Performance

Mamela Nyamza and Robyn Denny

11:30am – AKAA Underground

Interculturality and Identity – definitions and dialogues in contemporary art of Africa and African diaspora

Jean-François Boclé, Arlene Wandera, Richard Zeiss, moderated by Valerie Kabov
The International art market’s attention on Africa has made identity, national belonging and its identification into a marketable commodity.

2pm – Auditorium

The Griot and the Architect

Pélagie Gbaguidi, Paul Alden Mvoutoukoulou, moderated by Salimata Diop
At the crossroads of two extremely different artistic practices, we look for what they have in common: the ability to heal.

3:30pm – Auditorium

In spite of everything!

Zinkpè, Performance
Africa under treatment, between life and death.

4pm – AKAA Underground

Traveling Art Think Tank by L’Observatoire de l’art Contemporain

To think of contemporary Africa is to think of the new imaginary around Africanity, freed from post-colonial culture; a common value in the face of the continent’s plurality as much as a laboratory for globality.
The Itinerant Art Think Tank proposed by the Observatoire de l’art contemporain joins IAM – Intense Art Magazine to identify the transformation of the imaginary through the prism of artistic creation.

4:30pm – Auditorium

Tribute to Ousmane Sow


With Emmanuel Dayde et Germain Viatte
Screening of the documentary : Ousmane Sow
Directed by Béatrice Soulé, 26 minutes.

5pm – Auditorium

Tribute to Ousmane Sow

Ousmane Sow: against all odds

Soly Cissé, Sylvain Sankalé, Béatrice Soulé, the promise of a very lively discussion, moderated by Françoise Monnin, Chief Editor of magazine Artension

7pm – Auditorium

Tribute to Ousmane Sow

Screening of the documentary Ousmane Sow: le soleil en face

Directed by Béatrice Soulé, 55 minutes

11am – Auditorium

Who is afraid of Medusa?

Alexis Peskine in conversation with Salimata Diop
The artist tells us the stories revealed by his body of work Raft of the Medusa, and explores the multiple links between a tragic and ambiguous mythological character and the powerful political message carried by the artwork.

12pm – Auditorium

Artist’s film screening

Thomas Muziyirwa, Kuwadzana,
François Knoetze, The Big Hole, Counter narrative projet, 2017
Alexis Peskine, Raft of the Medusa, 2016

2pm – Auditorium

Against Hate and Oblivion

Joana Choumali and Nù Barreto, moderated by Salimata Diop
Through their art and their words, the two artists tell us about their choices that reveal tragic events in our history. Civil war, terrorism; can contemporary artists give us our memory back, can they heal us?

3:30pm – Auditorium

Regards croisés

Photography screening of selected artists, curated by Salimata Diop, 25 min
A journey through the eyes of others, in three acts.

4pm – Auditorium

Paths#Luminous nuclei
Panel discussion in three parts moderated by Seloua Luste Boulbina


Nicola Lo Calzo, Teddy Tibi 
This is in the “land of nowhere” that the exotic was invented, that is to say the distance between someone and something foreign. Is it then a waste of memory? A praise of ignorance? Or a movement in which a disturbing oddness lurks? The clash of an individuality with a distant objectivity? Here is a way to question the artistic relationship between space and time, the coming and going between here and there, the search for an outside that triggers the sudden appearance of images.

5pm – Auditorium

Paths#Luminous nuclei
Panel discussion in three parts moderated by Seloua Luste Boulbina


Ernest Breleur, Jeanne Wiltord
When the artist shows headless bodies, or replaced by their x-rays, female bodies entering the dance, fragments of mirror; when the artist’s whole process is collage, what is he doing?

6pm – Auditorium

Paths#Luminous nuclei
Panel discussion in three parts moderated by Seloua Luste Boulbina



Jean-François Boclé, Véronique Kanor
When facing our world’s toxicity, thinkers sometimes offer « panacea ». What about the artists? We wonder, in the singular context of the Caribbean, what it is that artists used and what they proposed: remedies, aphrodisiacs…

6pm – AKAA Underground


Organised by Amy Ellenbogen with Vukile Batyi, Yinka Ilori, Agata Karolina, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Nana Ocran
Amy Ellenbogen, curator of AKAA 2017 design exhibition, tells us about her concept « Neofuzz », in conversation with designers Vukile Batyi, Yinka Ilori, Agata Karolina, Lukhanyo Mdingi et Nana Ocran.

2pm – AKAA Underground

Education and the artist’s professional practice today

Hafida Jemni, Liz Lydiate, Laeila Adjovi and Hélène Jayet
Presented by Creative Intelligence.

4:30pm – AKAA Underground

Evasive semantics

Organised by Hélène Jayet, with Caroline Blache moderated by Virginie Ehonian
How do we talk about the black body, why do we often resort to the use of English words, and what do these evasive choices tell us about a persistent uneasiness around this matter.
Presented by Creative Intelligence.

5pm – Booth B18 Maëlle Galerie

Jean François Boclé invites you to cannibalize the Bananaman – Interactive performance

Jean-François Boclé