Art et transformations urbaines à Douala /// Art and Urban Transformations in Douala (Metis Presses, 2017) by its editor, Iolanda Pensa. Curatorial team and scientific framework Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Kamiel Verschuren/Xandra Nibbeling/Lucas Grandin, Roberto Paci Dalò, Marta Pucciarelli, Fiona Siegenthaler and Iolanda Pensa.
MAKING DOUALA 2007-2017 in Basel is developed within the framework of Culture and Safety in Africa, a communication project by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Department for Environment Constructions and Design, Laboratory of visual culture, in partnership with doual’art, ICU art projects & Lucas Grandin, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), University of Basel, with the support of SNF Agora Program. Production doual’art: Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Didier Schaub (†2014), Yves Makongo, Aristide Laure Juissop Pokam, Gilles Ngateu, Caroline Ngouegni and Francine Edinguele. ICU art projects: Xandra Nibbeling/Kamiel Verschuren & Lucas Grandin SUPSI – Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana: Marta Pucciarelli, Roberto Paci Dalò, Iolanda Pensa
MAKING DOUALA 2007-2017 explores the relationship between artistic production and urban transformation in Africa. It does so through the remarkable experience of SUD – Salon Urbain de Douala, an international triennial festival dedicated to public art that was inaugurated in 2007 in Douala, Cameroon, and that has brought a conspicuous number of Cameroonian and international artists to engage with communities of various neighborhoods and the public spaces these relate to in the city. All artworks are realized with local resources, thereby supporting local economies and integrating the projects in the local context. Beside their artistic aims and cultural relevance, these interventions have a strong social and political dimension, fostering the value of the public space and the sense of ownership by the interested communities, something that is not commonly found in African cities. Their impact on citizen’s views and perceptions of the city is significant, as shown by research assessing how culture affects safety and security in African cities, including Douala. The Basel exhibition is also an opportunity to share insights gained through these scientific investigations. The travelling exhibition MAKING DOUALA is a travelling exhibition meant to share with a wider audience the SUD festival achievements and the impact its public art projects have had in terms of urban transformation in Douala. It does so through posters, models, prints, drawings, video and films, documentaries, publications and multimedia installations – each project on its own terms and the overall exhibition in a way that takes into account and adapts to the artistic context of the hosting venue, including with site-specific initiatives. The exhibition in Basel builds on previous editions, that were presented at the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, at Dak’art Dakar and Entrepot Fictief Gent in 2012, and Gallery Paradise/Le Voyage à Nantes in 2013.