An exhibition curated by Cheria Essieke
In collaboration with Institut Français Mayence & Part Mainz
The journey through curating art and creatives isn't easy. However, i guess, like every other profession or thing that one chooses to do in life, a vision is required. And the late is surely the reason that keeps one motivated. In my case, bringing other cultures a bit more closer to African ones is what drives me and my team through this creative journey. Fighting and reducing stereotypes around African cultures through art curation, creative connections and management is what we want to achieve.
Therefore, when Antonio Quint Vila (founder of Part Mainz) contacted me for a cultural project in collaboration with the Institut français Mainz including creatives with African backgrounds, the answer was automatically YES!
The Idea was to curate something creative around the day of la Francophonie. However, questions such as: "what exactly to talk about? What is Francophonie for us? what should the message of the exhibition be? what should people go back with" kept coming up in my mind.
Le Senégal, La Teranga (meaning hospitality in Wolof, the Senegalese national Language) is what came out of these questions.... I chose Senegal, for what this country culturally means to Africa, to the world and to la Francophonie. I wanted to talk about Senegal, not as a nation, but as a country full of color and cultural identities.
"La Teranga en Couleur" was the theme of our last exhibition in Mainz at the Institut Francais Mainz. An Exhibition full of creativity, colors, cool energy and art discovery. The visitors discovered through three creatives artworks, different colors of La Teranga through Paintings, Films and Fashion. The following creatives were curated : Jean-Baptiste Joire (French photographer and videographer based since 10 years in Dakar), Ndiankou Niasse (a creative and co-founder of the creative collective MAFDAK (Métissage d’Art Forever Dakar) and founder of the Gallery Afiaarts Wiesbaden) and L$D (LiveShineDiesstudios, an urban clothing brand founded by Eugen Antwi, a Ghanian German creative).
“Whether it's the walls, the houses, the buildings, the cars, the clothes... Dakar is a rather colorful city. Color is ubiquitous in Senegal and in other African countries; people are not afraid of it. It makes a big difference with European capitals for example.” (Jean-Baptiste Joire)
“Because of the history of colonization, but also because of the opening of the borders, we have a multicolored, intercultural people. There are not less than eight ethnic groups in Senegal, that are all very different from each other, plus the French. From this cultural coloration results a métissage.” (Ndiankou Niasse)
"Colors are part of my daily life. In fact, where I've been living recently, in Saint-Denis, most of the inhabitants are African. So it's very colorful and you get the impression of being somewhere in Africa. If I had to describe Saint-Denis in color, I'd use red, because it's beautiful, but a bit sad at the same time. A lot of people are poor and seem to suffer." (Eugen from L$D)
Take a look at some memories we kept from the exhibition that took place 16th (vernissage) to March 31th 2023 (finissage and Part Gallery Crawl).
Presentation of Jean-Baptiste Joire documentaries (Minsy & Amadou, two creatives from Senegal, reflecting on their dear city Dakar)
Picture from left to right : Kenbougoul (assistant to NA creative direction), Sylvain Thollon (director of Institut français Mainz), Feryal (assistant to the cultural direction Institut français Mainz), Clara (intern at the IF), Alina (communication NA), Antonio (Part Mainz founder) during the Vernissage of La Teranga en Couleur.
Thanks to everyone who came by and specially to those ones who purchased some artworks <3
Culturally yours with love,