I dream of an African Art Salon, but with a variation on the theme. A place to learn, share,create, wonder, read, write, day (and night) dream...in French. Ahh, en francais. OUI !!! A virtual talking and sharing space for spirits like me, who are overpowered by the films of Ousmane Sembene, staggered by the sculpture of Ndary Lo, and dazzled by the Negritude movement of Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Cesaire and his gloriously brillant wife Suzanne Rossy Cesaire. Perhaps together we can catch the current wave of African women filmakers, including Fanta Regina Narco (Burkina Faso),Isabelle Boni-Claverie (Ivory Coast) and the first sub-Saharan African woman to direct a feature film, "Letter from My Village" (1975), Senegalese filmmaker Safi Faye. I would be remiss, not to remark upon the award winning works of Abderrahmane Sissako (paritcularly his latest film "Bamako", recently released on DVD), Cheick Fantamady Camara, Moussa Sene Absa, the extraordinary documentarist, Jean-Marie Teno, AND.... JUST BECAUSE I CAN, let's mention Bro. Danny Glover for all the projects he is working on in Paris and Sengal with French speaking African filmmakers.I think we can pass some lovely time together, reading the works of Calixthe Beyala, Marie Ndiaye, Maryse Conde, fabuously difficult, but, lets tackle her anyway and, Toni Morrison...(ha ha, got cha... "Beloved" translated into French is luminous).And, how crazy would I be, tres folle, not to mention the Congolese scholar, writer and 2006 Laureat du Prix Renaudot for, "Memoires de Porc-epic", Alain Mabanckou, who teaches Francophone Literature, right here at UCLA.In June of 2005, I travelled to Paris to attend, "Afric Remix", L'art contemporain d'un continent. This was an historical international art event, as it was the first exhibition of Contemporary African artists from the entire continent. Mention must also be made that this was first time an exhibition of this magnitude, was curated by an African, brother Simon Njami. There is much more to say, but for now, I'll very simply welcome you to join me as we create a "virtual salon"together and explore the majestic Francophone African world. "Siggi", in the West African language "Wolof" means, "Lift Up Your Head". I've loved that word ever since I heard it years and years ago and knew I would use it somewhere later. So...here at this beginning, let's listen to the admonishment of Thomas Sankara , President of Burkina Faso (assassinated in 1987) . There is a lovely essay he wrote entitled, " Why We Speak French", I'll post it next week. This gallant young leader renamed his country, "the land of the upright men".
He would close his lectures by saying, "Towards our radiant future".
Join me, as we "lift up our heads, towards our radiant future."
Madame Kymberly S. Newberry's Blog
My New York Francophone brothers and sisters:
Change is in the air....I have a new website:
I think there is something there for everyone.
Posted on July 23, 2010 at 2:30am — 2 Comments