Alliance Française de Banjul is a unique structure in The Gambia, which works to develop local cultural entrepreneurship and the arts in all forms. Alliance, with its wealth of facilities (400-seat outdoor theatre, art gallery, 80-seat conference room, incubator for young entrepreneurs, recording studio, etc.), is one of the country’s main cultural establishments and is identified as a resource centre for the arts by all Gambian artistic and institutional partners.
With its multidisciplinary structure, Alliance wishes to carry out a project of artistic residencies, through the construction and creation in 2022 of an artists’ house. The construction of this project began in February and will be completed in August 2022. This building, equipped with 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room, will allow the cultural development desired for the Alliance to take root and to support cultural and artistic cooperation with local actors. This new tool will provide privileged support for artistic production in all its diversity, support for the professionalization of artists and the development of cultural entrepreneurship. The residencies will offer an original working framework allowing emerging artists to meet with the most diverse populations, as close as possible to the artistic creation process.
Alliance Française will host a maximum of 6 residencies per year, for a duration of 1 to 3 months, with a strong emphasis in collaborations with local artists. The preferred artistic fields will be theatre, dance, music, literature and visual arts. This residency project appears to be a vector of links on the Gambian territory between artists, institutions, populations and young people in schools, by creating regular meetings and collaborations. The residencies will make it possible to envisage the immersion of artists within the Gambian territory, thus encouraging the participation of the population in the creative process through participatory works.
Alliance, in collaboration with the French Institute of Senegal, the Senegalese director Abdou Sambou and the French stage designer Anne Laure Jullian de la Fuente from the NOUMEC Company, organised a month of workshops in its premises with 13 Gambian actors, for the final creation of the play Nekuñufi (Absence). This multilingual project (French, Wolof and English) enabled the company to offer training and a performance based on the richness of language, including the French language. At the same time, the NOUMEC Company welcomed every afternoon at the Alliance Française, 12 students from the international bilingual school SBEC to work for a month on the play “Une extraterrestre” by Luc Tartar, extracted from a collection of the Festival 10/10. These collaborations gave birth to two French-language plays, highlighting the richness of our shared cultures. This artistic residency was made possible thanks to the support of the French Institute of Dakar and the French Embassy.
Alliance Française de Banjul, in collaboration with the French Embassy and the French Institute of Senegal in Dakar, supports young French-speaking and Gambian artistic creation, the development of innovative projects and the training of professional artists in the cultural field. Each year, Alliance Française de Banjul proposes a call for projects to encourage the emergence of artistic and cultural projects between French-speaking and Gambian actors.