23—25.05.2022 Colloque scientifique de Dak'art. La biennale de Dakar, 2022.

Musée des Civilisations noires, Dakar (Sénégal)

The exchange-meetings are part of the general topic of Dak'art 2022 " Ĩ NDAFFA# /FORGE /OUT OF THE FIRE ".Ĩ NDAFFA is inspired by I NDAFFAX which - in Serere language – is an invitation to forge. The term expresses the freedom to transform as well as the multiple possibilities of creating. This suggests the alchemy of the forging and the transformative action that leads to a new stage. In addition, the 2022 edition of the Biennale of Dakar calls to the transmutation of concepts and the foundation of new meanings. To forge refers to the act of transforming amaterial, most often metal, and in several languages, it has now lost the meaning of creating, imagining and inventing. It is therefore a question of creating new artistic expressions, new knowledge and know-how, which integrate African perspectives, in order to forge views and tools likely to help us overcome contemporary challenges and thus lead to the constantly renewed creation of a meaning that enables us to better understand the complexity of the world. To this end, the following questions will be explored during the exchange-meetings of the 2022 Biennale of Dakar.

1 - Grammars of creation, knowledge repositories and disconnections in contemporaryAfrican artForging new approaches to art history in the twenty-first century means revisiting the contexts of emergence of theknowledge that underpins it. African cultural histories have not sufficiently informed the appreciation of aestheticartifacts in contemporary art. Drawing on the sources of African aesthetic knowledge and integrating itsrepresentations of the world, would pave the way to new methodologies and enrich the doctrinal collection of arthistory. It is also a question of rethinking and thus reorganizing the traditional temporalities linked to the history of Art,by integrating the composite and non-linear times of African historiography. In short, it is a question of analyzing the contribution of contemporary African art to the history of art.

2 - The creation of an African archiveWhy creating an African archive? How to create it, for what specific purpose? Generally, the role of the archive is topreserve the past and the memory of societies by keeping a trace of it. The question of the archive will be consideredhere in the perspective of the creation of an archive for the future. More than preserving a trace of the past andpreserving it from the ravages of time, it is also a question of considering the archive as an artifact whose power ofgermination affects present times and contributes to building the future. Moreover, it will question through its artisticproductions, the relationship of African societies to memory and oblivion, and to question the way in which thearchive is made alive by an art conscious of oblivion. The latter, by consenting to the obsolescence of a part of thecultural matrix, frees space for creativity and inventiveness.

3 - Heritage and human rightsThe debate on the restitution of African heritage has been concurrent with several events that have marked the newsin recent years, particularly a debate on the place of statues and monuments in the public space that has emergedin South Africa (Rhodes must fall), in the United States, and in Europe, where symbols of colonialism are still stronglyrepresented in the public space. The specters of racism and police brutality in the US (death of George Floyd & BlackLives Matter movement) have again spread and this is linked to the necessary deconstruction of the matrix ofdiscourses and imaginaries of racism. All this questions the status and the role of heritage, its constitution as well asits selection with regard to history. There is a growing proximity between heritage, social justice and human rights.Thedebate on the restitution of African cultural property, beyond the question of freedom to own freely the artifactsmade by one's culture and forefathers, asserts the right to decide on the signs and symbols represented in places ofmemory, as well as the meanings and significance one wishes to promote, for example by avoiding those whosediscourses glorify racism. To what extent are these debates a sign of an evolution of the notion of heritage whosemeaning is increasingly linked to social issues and human rights, as well as to the will to change the world by workingon symbols, discourses and representations and their psychic effects, as well as the plurality of meanings of historicalevents?