“Le Lieu Utile” Le Lieu Unique, Nantes

Osseo-Asare, D. & Abbas, Y. “Le Lieu Utile [The Useful Space].” The UFA – Universit é des Futurs Africains [The University of African Futures], Project of HQ Nantes, Afrotopia, as part of the French National “Africa2020 Season,” Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France, by Commission. Exhibition Curator: Oulimata Gueye. (April 9, 2021 – August 29, 2021). https://www.lelieuunique.com/evenement/ufa/

“The UFA – Universit é des Futurs Africains exhibition invites artists from the continent who, from a critical approach to the notion of the future, ask themselves what knowledge and what stories we need to imagine the worlds of tomorrow… What place did the African continent occupy in the elaboration of speeches which presented themselves as stories of the future? What imaginaries of Africa have been mobilized? What remains of the utopia of non-aligned futures?”
“In an attempt to answer these questions, the exhibition calls on artist-researchers from several African countries who proceed in “histo-futurism”. The term is borrowed from African-American science fiction writer Octavia Estelle Butler. This defined the histo-futurist as “someone who looks forward without turning his back on the past, combining an interest in humans and technology”. By going back in time through meticulous investigations, these artists revisit futuristic experiences linked to Africa and summon the mythologies of origins to invent alternatives. Heirs of Pan-Africanism and digital technology, they raise very contemporary questions related to ecology, care, struggles for emancipation,”

“To symbolically abolish the distance between the exhibition venue and the African continent, a space designed by architects DK Osseo-Asare & Yasmine Abbas is installed within the exhibition. Devoted to the construction of a common knowledge, it functions as a useful place, a laboratory, a space for meetings, work, performances, a university of popular education.” [Source: Le Lieu Unique]

Project Team: Tiffanie Leung, Mahan Motalebi
Two v.1.0 fufuzela installed at Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France: in foreground, one fufuzela in the “standing” (cobra) orientation; in background, a second fufuzela laid down sideways in the “prone” orientation

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