This project entailed travelling from Senegal to Côte d’Ivoire to re-establish contact with my former student and protégé, Gilbert Medeton, who participated in the building of my 1999 exhibition, “Portes et passages du retour”, involving the street youth of Abidjan. The double purpose of this reunion was to attempt to organize the voyage of Gilbert to Senegal, where the exhibition has blossomed into the establishment of a Holistic Art Centre project in the region of Mbodiene / Ngazobil. Gilbert is expcted to travel to Senegal to live and work while he develops his artistic talents to maturity.
The reunion between Gilbert and I was very emotional after a 6-year separation. I was also able to reunite with many of the other young men I had mentored, and the joy we all felt at seing one another again was overwhelming. Although I had heard he had continued painting since my departure, I was fearful of the state in which I would find Gilbert who was actually still living in the street along with many of the others. However, after deeper discussions and meetings with him, I found him rather well prepared to undertake the journey I was offering him. Nevertheless, I though it would be helpful for him to work toward his trip by preparing the work for an exhibition of his own in Abidjan, the fruits of which could fund his journey to Senegal. […] As far as the video is concerned, I was able to travel with a self-funded filmmaker, Modibo Diawara.
It is expected that Gilbert should produce approximately 20-30 works of art before November. I should return to Abidjan at that time to exhibit one to three of my former works. […] The work progress that Gilbert is making will be recorded on video as well as his journey to Senegal by bus. He will join the project in Senegal and work as my assistant while he continues to develop his work. […] The continuing video coverage will converge in a one to two-hour documentary that will be produced at the end of this period.
Grant Year : 2007
Profile : Visual artist
Gender : M
To continue and to exhibit the video project « Doors and Passageways of Return » in Mbodiene Senegal, as part of the opening of the village’s rural youth art centre.
Type of Project
Departure : Dakar, Senegal
Destination : Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire