Rencontres AKAA

Global South Connections

Africa has always been part of an artistic and cultural network with other regions of the world that is even more intense today in an increasingly globalized and connected world. The links between Africa and the Western countries have been broadly explored, but the artistic encounters between Africa and the Global South, from the Americas to Asia or the Middle East, are also rich in creative inspirations and shared imagery.

Through the gaze of artists, writers, researchers, journalists, curators or musicians, Les Rencontres AKAA offer a platform to exchange and debate on the artistic connections and dialogue throughout the Global South that inform us about today’s society and invite us to reconsider the map of the world. Les Rencontres AKAA welcome art professionals whose horizons transcend borders.  

Friday, November 9

2pm - 3.30pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Talk | Pencils of Light

A panel discussion hosted in English by Sara Alonso Gómez, Curator and Founder of Calle C, a cross-residency program between Africa and the Caribbean. With :
  • Pierre Lombart, Collector and Founder of the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA) in St Emilion, France
  • David Bade, Artist, co-Founder of the Instituto Buena Bista (IBB), Curacao Center for Contemporary Art
  • Rosa Spaliviero, Film Producer and Curator, co-Founder mòsso (Brussels) and Picha (Lubumbashi)
The number of crossed artist residency programs is increasing, thanks to the collaboration of distant cities and countries. Each time, it is an invitation for artists to pursue their research in a new cultural environment. Bringing together several international cultural actors, the panel discussion will highlight four projects that interconnect Africa, Europe and the Caribbean: their approach, their challenges, as well as their impact on the professional and creative careers of the artists. Will these residency programs allow for the creation of international networks that enhance South/South relations and foster more horizontal North/South relations? This is the challenge of these pencils of light, which cross continents and oceans, like colourful and fertile rays.

3pm - 7pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Performance | STUDIO PARIS, Dalila Dalléas Bouzar

Children and adults approached the artist who, sitting behind her easel, invited them to sit down and have their faces painted. Performative, physical and social, this process lead the artist to push herself beyond her limits, starting relationships with someone new, to the intimate and to the history she is constantly seeking in her work.  

4pm - 5.30pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Talk | Batik and Wax, from Indonesia to Africa (FULL)

A panel-discussion hosted in French by Anne Grosfilley, Anthropologist, specialised in textile and design from Africa. With :
  • Imane Ayissi, Dancer, Model and Designer of Haute Couture
  • Myrthe Groot, Designer and co-Founder of the fashion brand Guave
  • Youssouf Fofana, Founder of Maison Château Rouge
At the end of the 19th century, Dutch settlers inspired by the wax techniques of Javanese Batik began to mass produce wax fabric that seduced many people in West Africa. These textiles are today a true marker of West African identity. By inviting specialists and artists, this panel discussion will take a look at the history of Batik and Wax in a colonial and post-colonial context. It will present the multiple uses and meanings of these textiles and their patterns, as well as their correspondence from one continent to another. In partnership with L’Institut des Cultures d’Islam

6pm - 6.45pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Concert | Master of Guimbri, Mehdi Nassouli, Morocco

Raised from a young age in the region of Taroudant between Malhoune and gnawa music, Medhi Nassouli is undoubtedly one of the most prolific musicians of his generation. Master of Guimbri, a gnawa base inspired by the West African Ngoni that produces a magical sound, there are countless prestigious collaborations of the soussi prodigy: Titi Robin, Benjamin Tobkin, Omar Sosa, Andy Emler, Karim Ziad, Hindi Zahra, Para one, Nneka, Justin Adamsn, Alpha Blondy… In partnership with Ginger Sounds
Saturday, November 10

2pm - 3.30pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Talk | The Contemporary Cuban Art Scene: GALLERIA CONTINUA in Cuba

A panel-discussion hosted in French by Giusy Ragosa, Director of GALLERIA CONTINUA, Les Moulins - France. With :
  • Susana Pilar, Artist
  • Laura Salas Redondo, Curator
  • Jérôme Sans, Curator
Since its opening in 1990 in San Gimignano, GALLERIA CONTINUA has always chosen to establish itself in unexpected places. Its vocation to settle off the beaten track is now part of its unique identity. After opening in Beijing and Boissy-le-Châtel in 2005, then in Seine-et-Marne in 2007, GALLERIA CONTINUA turned to Havana in 2015, after having found an abandoned old cinema in the Chinese district. As geographies start blowing up, borders are changing and opening up to welcome artists from the four continents. For GALLERIA CONTINUA, Cuba becomes a new adventure, a fertile ground for creation and encounters where history is told with new perspectives and tremendous excitement. Artists, stories and geographies intersect, meet and cross each other. Susana Pilar's work offers an intimate track of these movements, a moving and powerful mark that tells about here and elsewhere. The trace of a story, which is shared here.

3pm - 7pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Performance | STUDIO PARIS, Dalila Dalléas Bouzar

Children and adults approached the artist who, sitting behind her easel, invited them to sit down and have their faces painted. Performative, physical and social, this process lead the artist to push herself beyond her limits, starting relationships with someone new, to the intimate and to the history she is constantly seeking in her work.

4pm - 5:30pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Talk | What is Blackness?

A panel discussion hosted in English by Yvette Mutumba, Editor in Chief of Contemporary And magazine. With :
  • Claude Grunitzky, Journalist, Founder of TRUE Africa and President of the Water Mill Foundation in New York
  • Justin Dingwall, Artist, represented by ARTCO Gallery
  • Moostapha Saidi, Model
  • Mbali Dhlamini, Artist, represented by Red Room Gallery
In academic, political and artistic circles, it has become important to recognize the value and the diversity of African cultures and the diaspora. At the same time, many intellectuals and artists rise up against a view that categorizes artists and their practices into what is called "Black Art" or "Black Culture". This panel discussion will trigger questions around the meaning of blackness today, as a particular aesthetic or experience, informed by a historical perspective on the evolution of political and artistic black movements. In partnership with French Institute of South Africa and Contemporary & magazine

5.30pm - 6pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Artist Encounter and Booksigning | ALBUS, Justin Dingwall

In English Justin Dingwall (b. 1982) is a Johannesburg-based photographer. His famous “ALBUS” series has been exhibited across the world. The series features portraits of Thando Hopa, a South African legal prosecutor who uses her visibility to address the negative perceptions surrounding Albinism. With Albus, Dingwall seeks to inspire a public debate on subject of albinism, still a taboo throughout Africa. The artist portrays albinism in a striking manner, in sharp contrast with conventional notions of beauty. Represented by ARTCO Gallery.

7pm - 7.45pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Concert | Master of Vahila, Tao Ravao, Madagascar

Tao Ravao, born in Madagascar in 1956, left his native island for France at the age of 12. Though he was at first a mandolinist and then a banjoist, it was on his return to the island in 1988 that he became fascinated by the local music and lost himself in it. His career took off thanks to his musical immersion and he soon went on to actively participate in the export of traditional Malagasy music and fusion around the world, incorporating a nice touch of blues. As a gifted multi-instrumental artist, he also plays the Valiha wonderfully, a tubular zither made from Malagasy bamboo with Indonesian origins. In partnership with Ginger Sounds
Sunday, November 11

2pm - 3.30pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Talk | Own my body

A panel discussion hosted in French by Véronique Rieffel, Curator. With:
  • Joumana Haddad, Writer, Journalist, and Activist
  • Nabil Ayouch, Film Director
  • Nour Asalia, Artist, Researcher in Aesthetics and Art History
The body is a recurring theme among artists from the Arab world. Nude representation has existed in the Arab world since the beginning of the 20th century, particularly in the works of Lebanese and Egyptians artists inspired by the oriental female model, obedient and fantasized by Europeans. In a contemporary context however, artists look and represent the body in their work with political and ideological intent, and rebel against orientalist imagery. Artists are at the center of their work, in charge of their own sexuality and identity, at a time when it becomes more and more difficult to show nudes and be open about sexuality. This militant claim to one's body questions the status of women, LGBTI and men in Arabic societies.

2pm - 6pmAKAA UNDERGOUND

Performance | STUDIO PARIS, Dalila Dalléas Bouzar

Children and adults approached the artist who, sitting behind her easel, invited them to sit down and have their faces painted. Performative, physical and social, this process lead the artist to push herself beyond her limits, starting relationships with someone new, to the intimate and to the history she is constantly seeking in her work.

4pm - 5.30pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Talk | If I lose the North, does that mean I cannot find my South?

A panel discussion hosted in English by Françoise Vergès, Writer, Feminist, Researcher in Political Science and History, Chairholder of the Global South(s) Chair at Collège d'Etudes Mondiales. With:
  • Kendell Geers, Artists, represented by Gallery Didier Claes
  • Sepideh Merhaban, Artist
  • Aimé Mpane, Artist, represented by NOMAD Gallery
  • Pascale Obolo, Film Director, Curator
Can we free the notion of the South from its connections to an hegemonic North? From a cartography created by Western Europe in the 16th century that divided the humanity between those who matter and those who don’t? Are we condemned in the South to have to prove our humanity? Is the Global South a useful category? And what to do when the Global South becomes a commodity? We will discuss these questions and their significance in the artistic field.  In partnership with Artthrob.  

6pm - 6.45pmAKAA UNDERGROUND

Concert | Master of Marimba, La Wey Segura, Colombia

La Wey Segura, a Guapi native of the pacific coast in the 80s, began his career with tradition percussion at a very young age and soon learned the Marimba and singing. From the age of 11, he has performed on stage with several well known bands in the country. Since the mid-2000’s he has toured internationally with several groups, and has since moved to Paris where he is now the master of the pioneer instrument of Afro-Colombian music, the balafon of Latin America. In partnership with Ginger Sounds