The individual is reinvention. Incessantly. In an uncertain movement, shexhe is movement of infinitude; creating many facets of herselfxhimself ; multifaceted in substance. Blackness in its existence is a presence. However this reinvention movement is not yet perceptible. It is the combination of both visibility and invisibility in the field of almost being-there. We are beyond our phenotypes. That is why I say that the Black individual does not exist as perceived. ShexHe is the reinvention of herselfxhimself. In a wide and infinite playground of “I” taught by a perception of time and plural space which is rooted in the Black cosmogony ; the latter lying at the very heart of African culture. That is therefore in this meta-dynamic space that this being tends to assert herselfxhimself. This assertiveness of a rich and alternative existence, we try to see it, we try to turn an engaging eye to it ; by observing, by accompanying this creative energy so it can be audible, readable, intelligible, visible, sensible : totally perceptible. This is a lifetime exercise because it consists of unlearning, of deconstructing a “blackened” identity. At the same time, it consists of becoming aware of what our human structure is, the medium of a vivid culture embodied by the body. It consists for me as a visual essayist of showing and enunciating a system of symbols which are structured as a language through and by the image. It consists of not being afraid, afraid of displeasing anyone who would be disapproving the idea of seeing such a being entirely asserting herselfxhimself. Because it would mean that an other exists, and that another elsewhere is possible.
Asserting oneself entirely would be like treating this old painful psychic wound which has been opened for far too long. It would be admitting through this assertiveness that the individual who is considered as a Black person, and with all the negativeness – the stigma that a blackened identity carries, is a being of growth in an emerging power process. Creativity is not only about arts. It is all these “ordinary” realizations that add some meaning to life, by conferring on us a certain autonomy, independence of mind and of reflection and of imagination – that enables us to cast a fresh eye on things. Creativity propels life inside us. And fundamentally life implies creativity. The so-called Black individual is a living being full of life! This living being full of life anchors itself in a really new reality. In this age of internet and new technology, I feel herselfxhimself embracing herxhis emotional body position through which, herxhis head can think. Because we are both body and head. We are whole. By welcoming what we feel, we think. The feeling passes through the senses. The hearing, the touch, the sense of smell, sight and taste. We want to be heard, to be read, to be listened to, to be felt too ; to speak and above all to be seen ! It is a desire for autonomy that exists everywhere.
In Ewe ; a West-African language “amegbeto” means human being, etymologically it means “the being who refused” ; the being who said no. Becoming an adult is therefore the choice to refuse to be a child. It is to assume one’s responsibility. It is to refuse submission to oppression. Which means to act. To create is therefore also to act. In Kiswahili and Shikomori, spoken languages of the Comoros islands, “wanadamu” means the human beings. Literally “wana wa Adamu” means Adam’s children. Adam and Eve are those who refused to obey the Father’s law. Rather they chose to build up something else than the known. To embrace the unknown and play with what is presented to us in this quest, this pathway. We are directed to something that we precisely do not know because the movement, the creative act, is creation itself. “Bangangté” is the name of my village in Cameroon. In Medùmba ; a Bamileke language, “bangangté” means “the one who refuses to bow down”. The one who refuses to undergo slavery. Linked to “amegbeto” and “wanadamu”, we could say that it is the refusal to submit to oppression, which could also be the refusal of fatality, thus admitting that we have got the choice to be free through creation.
To update Black cosmogony in visual arts, the image, the visual, this substratum remains deep within us. We could even say that it is an old emotion that does not engulf us, because by noticing it, we are still open to the rest of the world. We want to leave a legacy. Thus, I define Manufactoriel as a virtual space for visual and cultural research. This space is a multidisciplinary hub which showcases the creativity, the art and the style of Black culture whose substructure is to be defined through the roots of African culture. At the same time a space for curation – a space for publication and a space for visual creation, Manufactoriel explores these different fields of “monstration” in order to highlight the singularities of Black cosmogony, by updating it in a fully real and new reality. Manufactoriel anchors itself out of the conventional field of monstration frameworks, at the cutting edge of the gallery, the mood board, and the archives. To show is to see. To see is to assert oneself. To assert oneself, is to exist.
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