The artists’ house Musa Ngum, operational since November 2022, is designed to boost the cultural activity of the Alliance Française de Banjul, enabling it to contribute more to Gambian cultural life. The reception of artists from all horizons and disciplines contributes to the affirmation of the Alliance as a privileged place for inter-cultural exchanges.
The Standard wrote about the inauguration of the artists’ house, which was celebrated on Francophonie Day, 20 March 2023, in the company of Mr Philippe Lalliot, French Ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia, and Mr Pierre Gomez, Minister for Education.
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.