Thought around a cruel city, this significant work of the author, philosopher, committed and essential of African literature Mongo Beti otherwise known as Eza Boto, distributed in 1954 under the title « La clairière d’Eza Boto » is linked to his exile for over thirty years in the city of Rouen where he practiced as a professor of Letters at the Lycée Corneille.
Through this work, he invites everyone to consider the hybridity and multi-culturality of the constructions as a time revolted or subdued which is converted by four opuses that are presented to the public in order to feed an imaginative reflection proposed by exhibitions on several sites in Normandy and a residence of international artists on a barge going up the Seine or meetings and exchanges between artists of different and intersecting cultures.
« La clairière d’Eza Boto » is an excursion presented in 4 opuses where the invited artists give their points of view on Mongo Beti‘s fundamental reasoning and the significant role of contemporary art in front of the worlds. These diverse artists offer an exciting interstice and cross-exploration of issues around the concepts of identities, memories and the international reconfiguration of domains in the face of developing contemporary social orders.
« La clairière d’Eza Boto », a look in 4 Opus
Opus I was a group exhibition at the Orangerie du Jardin des Plantes de Rouen which ran from May 19 to June 27, 2021. The artists Faycal BAGHRICHE, Nu BARRETO, Becky BEH Mpala, Jean-Michel DISSAKÉ, Safaa ERRUAS, Samuel FOSSO, Gabrielle GOLIATH, GODDY LEYE, Mo LAUDI, Nyaba L. OUEDRAOGO, Sadikou OUKPEDJO, Ghizlane SAHLI, Arlene WANDERA, Hervé YAMGUEN, Amina ZOUBIR bring their reflections on the issues of our societies.
Opus II was an artists’ residency on the Seine between Le Havre and Rouen from May 24 to May 30, 2021, with stopovers in Caudebec-en-Caux, Le Trait and Duclair. The artists Jean-Michel DISSAKE, Becky BEH, Euridice KALA, Teo BETIN, Hervé YAMGUEN, Alain POLO, Beya GILLE-GACHA and Z from Tunisia participated. This snapshot of the exchanges was a place of research around the work and more particularly on the magazine Peuples noirs – Peuples africains.
At the end of this crossing, a restitution was carried out in various places of arts, partners of Rouen Metropole and at the Cité internationale des Arts in Paris.
Opus III also offered exhibitions at the Rouen Museum of Fine Arts with the artists John AKOMFRAH and Malala ANDRIALAVIDRAZANA, as well as at the Musée Le Secq des Tournelles in Rouen from June 11 to September 20, 2021 with the Senegalese Ndary LO.
And Opus IV is part of an educational project between Yaoundé and Rouen followed by an Exhibition at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen from May 19 to June 30, 2021. This is under the supervision of the Cameroonian curator and art critic Yves Chatap, a founding member of the YCOS-Project which organizes and supports artists by working alongside them and offers a bridge between artists, institutions and or art galleries.