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.
Click on the link below to download a file presenting the house.
Click here to read an article from The Standard 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.
From February 27th to March 5th 2023, Alliance Française de Banjul hosted an artistic residency for the Tchookar Cooperative, an association from city of Grenoble in France, that aims to develop artistic projects.
Tchookar, accompanied by music group Oriki and Senegalese singer Woz Kaly, was on tour in Senegal and The Gambia for the performance of its cine-concert based on the film La petite vendeuse de soleil, by Djibril Diop Mambéty.
During their week at Alliance Française de Banjul, its members gave two workshops to Gambian schools, in order to introduce children to the world of music, instruments, and also the concept of a cine-concert. Diana Mariam School Group and Ecole Française de Banjul were able to benefit from the expertise and talent of Oriki and Woz Kaly. We thank them for their participation.
Two workshops for Gambian professional musicians were also given in order to create connections between artists from several countries and to allow Gambian artists to benefit from the visit of international artists to develop new skills. We also thank them for coming.
Alliance Française de Banjul, attached to the sharing of culture and the creation of connections between artists of all disciplines and all horizons, is delighted with the holding of these workshops, which have contributed to the dynamism of Gambian cultural life.
Finally, the presentation of the cine-concert of La petite vendeuse de soleil on Friday 3rd March in our outdoor theater was a real success. The public, who came in great numbers, was able to attend an exceptional show of great quality, which encourages us to further develop our cultural activities.
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.