« BIFURCATIONS, choosing the essential » is the theme of the twelfth Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial. Moreover, we can say that bifurcation is the thing we have been exploring for some time on our planet and this is what the curator of the exhibition, Franck Houndégla, wishes to share through his exhibition « SINGULIER PLURIELLES – dans les Afriques contemporaines » which invites to find and discover the practices conveyed in the metropolitan and rural domains of contemporary Africa at the heart of environmental and political issues.

Franck Houndégla shows the elements and pluralities that structure the majority of the tasks according to their common qualities. It is a form of convocation to highlight the creativity of the 54 nations of Africa.

The projects highlighted in the exhibition « SINGULIER PLURIELLES – dans les Afriques contemporaines » show crossovers and uses in different fields: practices of agriculture and forest care, approaches to imagining public spaces, and better approaches to imagining methods of making, arrangements of wellness, versatility, and even ways of communicating information, cooking or playing.

The exhibition « SINGULIER PLURIELLES – dans les Afriques contemporaines » is focused on the human and the improvement of the living environment of the largest number of people by staging this relationship between ancient practices and contemporary processes in Africa and the way designers communicate with society. It presents some fifty innovative projects in these different fields adapted to various social circumstances.

Starting with fashion in Nigeria, Bubu Ogisi, a designer who has fostered a useful environment for networking artisans with an integral capacity, such as using design to tell us a story, which follows the present and envisions what is to come.

Karenjy, a vehicle manufacturer located in Madagascar that makes non-standard cars that seeks to communicate the particularities of a vehicle planned and worked to go on the long streets and roads of its local country.

Or on the other hand this flavor research center, a place to share Afro-fusion cuisine, as to create a connection between the plural foods of Africa. A setting without a menu or a dish of the day, but rather the chef Dieuveil Malonga who manages to offer dishes from any region of the continent according to the seasons.

Finally, the Songhai Center, a place of training and agricultural creation founded in 1985 by the Dominican friar Godfrey Nzamujo in the capital of Benin, and which has taken on the mission of imagining and inventing a framework to respond in a fundamental way to the triple challenge of food shortage, demographic pressure and environmental emergency in development

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Many other areas were also addressed, for example, devices for clinics, low-tech hand-washing stations created to adapt to pandemics, contemporary furniture designed with artisans using local materials, artistic rehabilitation of Vodoun public squares and even cultural banks to conserve heritage. 

The exhibition « SINGULIER PLURIELLES – dans les Afriques contemporaines » allows guests to gradually become aware that these methodologies, sovereign and emancipatory, are carriers of new trans-African narratives and will be open until July 31, 2022.  


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