Addressing the public @ CECAST2013


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1st CECAST (Centre for Cultural and African Studies) International Conference on Culture and Conflict Resolution
Kumasi, Ghana
22-23 October 2013

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Addressing the public @ CECAST2013

  1. 1. ADRESSING THE PUBLIC Art and safety in Douala CECAST Conference Kumasi, Ghana 22 October 2013 Marta Pucciarelli – USI Lugano (Switzerland) Giovanna Santanera - Università di Milano Bicocca (Italy) – EHESS, Paris (France)
  2. 2. LIVING IN DOUALA… “You need to know how to live in Douala. You need to be wise. You shouldn't go out during the night, because bad things happen... Briefly, you must be smart. Douala is really the city of the right and the evil. If you are smart, you get by. But if you aren't you are hit every moment. You need to be cunning. Most of the good things are in Douala. People come from everywhere. There is no discipline in Douala. People who are ready to hurt are especially in Douala. If there is something good, it's in Douala. If you get by in Douala, you can get by everywhere. Even in Europe. Douala has everything: the right and the evil.” Julienne Sameu (actress)
  3. 3. THE PURPOSE OF OUR DISCUSSION To illustrate how the art practice intersects this complex and ambiguous environment, with particular reference to problems of safety and security. Two case studies: 1)The “Passerelle de Bessengue” (Alioum Moussa, 2003) 2)“Balade dans la cité” (dir. Aime Waffo Kamga, 2006 - today)
  4. 4. PUBLIC ART Proximity artworks Monuments Passageways artworks
  5. 5. PUBLIC ART Proximity artworks La Passerelle de Bessengue •Produced by doual’art •Community-based projects •SUD- Salon Urbain de Douala
  6. 6. POPULAR ART TV Series Balade dans la cité •Produced by Equinoxe (20062011) and WAK Africa pictures (2011- today) •Made by “Les Grands Compagnons de Douala” •Broadcasted by Equinoxe Télévision
  7. 7. WHY POPULAR? • No “popular” versus “intellectual” • It “speaks” people’s pressing concerns • It is produced, enjoyed, and discussed by inhabitants of Douala
  8. 8. PUBLIC AND POPULAR: WHAT IS IN COMMON? • Produced by local artists • Out of museum, out of the studios – the street is the stage • Engaged with the society aiming for improvement • Portraying the reality with fundamental aesthetical concerns
  10. 10. A “PROXIMITY CINEMA” “I'm not a big fan of the fictional cinema; I'm rather a fan of a kind of cinema that helps people to make progresses; of a cinema allowing people mirror themselves; of a cinema that arises social problems; of a cinema in which anyone can learn a concrete lesson. Basically a proximity cinema”
  11. 11. SCREENING PROBLEMS AND DANGERS • The narrative device: Makalapati cycles around telling what he sees; • From traditional communication channels (newspaper, radio, gossip, etc.) to comical television series.
  12. 12. ASPIRATIONS 1- Information and prevention about dangers and social problems 2- Changing wrong doers' mindset
  13. 13. ASPIRATIONS 3- Offering an aesthetic facet to the city
  14. 14. LA PASSERELLE DE BESSENGUE Someone has thought of us, the forgotten of Douala, the development also concerns us
  15. 15. IMPACTS 1) Acceleration of development activities: Creation of a Development Community Attraction of International monetary funds (World Bank) 2) Social cohesion and responsibility   Bessengue entrance (2003) Bessengue entrance (2012)
  16. 16. IMPACTS 2) Conviviality space Meeting place Safe landmark  
  17. 17. IMPACTS 4) Increasing and improving commercial activities Façade of the hairdresser - before Façade of the hairdresser - after
  18. 18. CONCLUSION PUBLIC ART AND POPULAR ART Two different aesthetical forms Both of them encourage the audience to reflect upon the gap between what reality is and what it should be, making efforts to bridge the gap.
  19. 19. THANK YOU! GIOVANNA SANTANERA Università di Milano – BICOCCA (IT) EHESS – Paris (FR) MARTA PUCCIARELLI New Media in Education Lab Università della Svizzera italiana (CH)