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  • Research and creation in the service of social issues

Research and creation in the service of social issues/

Research and creation in the service of social issues

As part of the Odyssée programme, YOWA NGOY Yollande, whose artist name is Orakle Ngoy, took up a cross-residency from 13 May to 23 June 2023. A Congolese artist, she stayed in Clarenza, the Bastide de l'oralité in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, before moving on to the small village of Steinhöfel in Germany, where the LandKunstLeben arts association is based.

"Much more than just a new experience, during this time I experienced new fulfilment in extraordinary working and creative spaces. In contact with artists of incredible talent, and at the heart of institutions that are conducive to cultural encounters and discoveries, I was able to carry out a number of artistic exchanges".

As part of this residency, Orakle Ngoy developed a project entitled Carte Blanche, which combines research and creation around writing, orality and sound. The artist created and performed poetic texts using slam and rap. This exploration of poetic texts required her to mobilise cultural references in order to adapt them as effectively as possible to a musical interpretation. The focus on the world of sound involved comparing different sound environments according to the historical context in which they were produced.

The artist's work as a whole and the angle of research she has chosen are informed by feminist theories and by a reflection on ways of appropriating one's condition as a human being. The artist's approach is inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, and more specifically her novel Orlando, published in 1928, in which primacy is given to the sensations that make up our being. Many subjects are also addressed, including the nature of men and women, love, life in society and literature.

Commenting on this literary impregnation, the artist says: "It was in this sense, I think, that I found myself exploring the notion of intersectionality, which is the way in which society can treat an individual in relation to his or her gender, race and social class."

At the Bastide de l'oralité, Orakle Ngoy took part in one of the CCR's highlights called PRIMADERAN. PRIMADERAN is a showcase for a range of artistic disciplines. For this 2023 edition, a group of Basque musicians, OREKA TX _ BANDA, took to the stage together, showcasing Basque culture and researching the musicality of emblematic Basque instruments such as the Txalapata. Their repertoire of traditional music is complemented by inspirations from elsewhere, as shown by their collaboration with the HEDO KOLEKTIBOA collective, a group of four dancers from Guadeloupe. These dancers form the body language of the sound creation, setting it in motion. As for Orakle Ngoy, she took part in the event with a textual performance of poetry, slam and rap. The subjects addressed revolved around notions of identity, gender, race and social class.

"I'd like to stress that it was a very important and interesting opportunity for my career, for me and for my future projects, to have been able to win this Odyssey programme. I've been able to develop work that I wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to develop, and I've been able to develop an increasingly personal approach to my artistic work as a result."

Also during the first part of her residency in Clarenza, she ran a slam workshop with pupils from the IMMACULEE public school in the Clairance bastide, and also met a local rapper, ODEI.

Once in Germany, she used her residency to develop the notion of intersectionality that is so dear to her heart. To do this, she held a series of discussions with feminist artists in the area who are fighting for specific causes, such as Elise Dacosta, who makes podcasts focusing on the community of black women and Afro-descendants in Switzerland, Magali Dougoud, who deconstructs dominant historical and scientific narratives to find other possible subjectivities, developing an emancipatory feminine imagination, and the Nyabhingi Lab collective, which runs a radio station that gives a voice to immigrant women in Berlin by addressing feminist positions and the point of view of migrant women.

"I encourage you in this programme, which enables artists of all nationalities, from different cultures and different countries, to bring to life this multiculturality, which is an impressive asset. This programme encourages positive encounters."