Developed as part of Saout Africa(s), a collaboration with SAVVY Funk, Berlin, for Every Time A Ear di Soun, Documenta 14 Radio Program, Carte blanche explores Cameroon’s Anglophone identity through culture with Christine Eyene (art historian and curator, University of Central Lancashire), Dzekashu MacViban (writer and editor of Bakwa Magazine), Elsa M’bala (singer, composer and sound artist) and Tito Valery (artist and radio host).
In November 2016, resistance against marginalisation of the English-speaking parts of Cameroon (located West of the country) was met with repression and an internet shutdown for 94 days in those regions, jeopardizing everyday life, the economy, education and cultural exchanges.
Through conversations, texts and sound experiments, including a new sound performance by Elsa M’bala, this programme will reflect on how the linguistic colonial legacy continues to affect life, culture and politics in Cameroon and Africa today.
About the participants:
Based in Yaounde, Dzekashu Macviban is a writer and freelance journalist who focuses on the intersection between culture and technology. He is the founder and editor of Bakwa Magazine online since 2012, and published a collection of poems titled Scions of the Malcontent (2011). His work has featured in Wasafiri, Kwani and Fashizblack among other places and has been translated into Spanish, French, German and Japanese. In 2013 he curated the Cameroon leg of the Spoken Word Project, organised by the Goethe-Institute Kamerun with which he continues to be involved in initiatives supporting young writers.
Elsa M’Bala lives and works in Yaounde and Berlin. Elsa grew up in Cameroon and moved to Germany with her family in 1999 before relocating to Yaounde in 2012. Her work explores African and Cameroonian history and archive material. It also explores gender discourses and sonic experiments using both analogue instruments, traditional Cameroonian sonic heritage and technology including sound machines, the internet and digital culture.
Tito Valery lives and works in Yaounde. He is a visual artist, cultural activist and acclaimed radio host. He is programmer of Cameroon’s RSI (Radio Sport Info) broadcast for documenta 14’s Every Time A Ear di Soun. He was also a guest of Chimurenga Magazine’s d14 segment with Waka Radio Archives.
Christine Eyene is a British-based French/Cameroonian art historian and curator. She is a Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire and co-funder, with Landry Mbassi, of Cameroon’s photography platform YaPhoto – Yaounde Photo Network.
This intervention, as part of Saout Africa(s) is an extension of M’bala and Macviban’s participation to the exhibition Still unresolved and very much ongoing (until 5 Aug) curated by Eyene at Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, London.
‘Carte blanche to Christine Eyene: Sounding our thoughts to the West’ is supported by Making Histories Visible, an interdisciplinary visual arts research project based at the University of Central Lancashire’s Centre for Contemporary Art, led by Turner Prize 2017 nominee Lubaina Himid.
About Saout Africa(s)
Curated by Saout Radio (Anna Raimondo & Younes Baba-Ali), Saout Africa(s) plays with both the English word “south” and the literal sense of the Arabic “saout” meaning “voice” and “sound.” The title also evokes the plurality of possible interpretations coming from the word “Africa.”
Beyond a monolithic idea, stereotypes, and the geographic limitations related to the word “Africa,” Saout Africa(s) proposes a fluid immersion, in which the notion of boundary is lost while an aesthetic and political time-space of listening emerges.
Reactivating Saout Radio’s archives through different voices, new thematic cartes blanches, and new live performances, Raimondo and Baba-Ali activate an international network to generate personal and collective perspectives about possible Africa(s), while reflecting a panorama of today’s radio art.
While eight radio stations in documenta 14 radio program are existing structures, SAVVY Funk, the German iteration is a new station started from scratch.
For SAVVY Funk, artists are invited to take over a 24-hour radio program providing news, weather, and other programs, such as Unpacking Sonic Migration, Listen to the Other – disEmbodied Voices – Hybridized Techno, Saout Africa(s), and Piratensender. Participating artists collaborate with students from the Class for Experimental Radio at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, led by Prof. Nathalie Singer and Martin Hirsch, to prepare and operate the radio program. Prof. Nathalie Singer and her team are also contributing a reading and listening room at SAVVY Contemporary, where visitors can experience and reflect on radio in the making.
SAVVY Funk is curated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Marcus Gammel, and Elena Agudio
Documenta 14 is curated by Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director.
Carte blanche to Christine Eyene: Sounding our thoughts to the West
Sunday 18 June 6.00-6.40 pm
17 June – 8 July
See SAVVY Funk Broadcasting Schedule here