BAKASSI PENINSUL’ART

On the occasion of the 3rd edition of the RAVY festival, The Collective Kamer Pallets in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in collaboration with a group of contemporary visual artists from Nigeria, has organize a visual art workshop at the city of Limbé, one of the main cities near Bakassi peninsula.

This the first part in 2012 got the participation of 04 artists from Nigeria and 04 artists from Cameroon. The project’s name was: Bakassi peninsul’art workshop; a way to celebrate the brotherhood, unity and peace after a long time dispute of the territory of Bakassi.

Today, peace is back at the Bakassi peninsula. Noise of the guns is now a distant memory. The 30 000 people currently living in Bakassi, most part of them are fishermen from both countries. But the governments and institutions are only Cameroonians. No one wants to relive those past events that have hard over 20 years. It’s to support the Bakassi peoples in the construction of the present time and the future in peace that we have resolved to do a workshop in Limbé.Guest artists from the two neighboring countries: Landry Mbassi, joseph Sumegne, Salifou Lindou and Emile Youmbi for Cameroon. Jelili Atiku, Taiye Idahor, Richardson Ovbiebo and Ogunlade Folashade for Nigeria.

Among them, there was Ingrid Jejina, an artist from the Netherlands, who played the important role of animator and facilitator of the workshop.The presence of Marcio Carvalho, artist and curator from Portugal-Germany was also very helpfull on controling the group cohesion and keeping a good ambiance. But his main role was the creation of a documentary on the african contemporary art discouse.

Bakassi peninsul’art workshop was a time of memorable encounters; these platform allowed artists to give to Cameroon south west population, a good example of collaboration.

during the 2012 edition, focus was made on the Governement Secondary School of Mbojo Limbé, There has been some activities and discussion on the topic of peace building and sustainable development at the Bakassi peninsula; with the headmaster of the school and young students.

As decided by the workshop facilitator, there was four groups of two artists of both countries. Working, sharing, collaborating and building some thing together during the four days of workshop. The artists worked on projects as performances and public interventions in neighborhoods with the participation of the Limbé population. The main demonstration during the workshop was the collective wall painting at a public school situated near the main road. Thanks to the kind collaboration of the school administration, the public authorities, the municipality police, and the local population. It was great to see the eigth artists all together in action on that wall. All of them animated by the same challenge. Offering a monumental gift to the city, a monumental art gift focused on the unity and peace topic.

In 2014, thanks to the support of our main partner Art Collaboratory, we have resolved to carry out a other edition with more objectives to follow up: intensive artistic actions in fishing communities; to give a new breath to the fishing activity that is the main income of the people’s daily life. The target was actually the fishermen villages in Limbé, Tiko and Edinao all at the Cameroon south west cost. there was once more four artists from Cameroon: Christian Etongo, Dieudonné Fokou, Hervé Youmbi, Landry Mbassi, and four artists from Nigeria: Ndidi Dike, Odun Orimolade, Tina Adebowale, Lilian Novo Isioro.

they worked alongside of two german facilitators; Johnny Ammore and Irène Pascual.

Artists worked on projects created site specific, in neighborhoods and with the participation of the local populations; it was public interventions different form of performances spontanously exécuted by Odun orimolade and Christan Etongo. Appart of the debates, all activities took place outdoor, in the fishermen villages. The main purpose of this project was to bring the community to get involved and be proactive. Tne artists’s responsibility was to imagine artistic concepts based on realities found on the field. They has developed projects in connection with their target audience.