WOMEN IN THE ARTS IN AFRICA
- Simona Deaconescu in dialogue with Gaby Saranouffi
- Free entry
In anticipation of the international premiere of the contemporary dance show RAMANENJANA, co-created by Simona Deaconescu and Malagasy choreographer and cultural activist Gaby Saranouffi, we invite you to a meeting with the two artists, on the topic of “Women in arts in Africa”.
RAMANENJANA is a show based on the events that defined the dance epidemic of 1863 in Madagascar. The performance examines an unknown historical event that contributed to the overthrow of a political regime, calling into question issues that greatly influence the way we perceive our society today: colonial ambitions, the role of women in generating social change, and understanding an epidemic as a complex phenomenon that triggers social trauma.
Gaby Saranouffi is one of the most important artistic and feminist voices in the field of dance in Madagascar and an artist with a vast cultural and political commitment in her country, in Africa and beyond.
Being a woman in the Arts industry, personally for me triggers lots of questions; whereby foremost my interest is in how society values or simply looks at women in general. My main focus and projection in my artistic works and statements is and has always been to talk about women’s issues in the society, their trials and tribulations, whereby I became the voice of those women that cannot talk for themselves.– Gaby Saranouffi
Starting from her observations and personal journey, Gaby Saranouffi will address in the dialogue with Simona Deaconescu topics / problems “as endured by women in the arts industry“: the daily challenges and the hardship because of your gender or your race, he perpetual battle within the art field, women empowerment and progression in the arts.
Gaby Saranouffi is a Malagasy born dancer, choreographer, art activist, Founder and Creative Director of the I’ TROTRA International Dance Festival in Madagascar, one of the most recognized dance festival that has run for 19 years in the heart of the Malagasy art landscape. Currently living in South Africa, she has been recently appointed to join the Artistic Committee of one of the most renowned arts festivals in South Africa; the National Arts Festival (NAF) in the Dance Section. Her fight for dance is relentless and she continues to expand her political artistic statement through her works, in the most tackling issues of the Gender Based Violence perpetuated against women
Simona Deaconescu is a Romanian choreographer and filmmaker working across genres and formats. She examines social constructs, at the border of fiction and objective reality, sometimes with irony and black humor. Her works were selected and presented in festivals and conventional stages, unconventional spaces, cinemas, galleries and museums, architectural sites, and family houses, reaching audiences from Europe and beyond. She holds a BA and a MA at the choreography department of the National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. She received the danceWEB scholarship in Vienna (2014), the National Centre for Dance in Bucharest Award (2016), was an Aerowaves Twenty18 Artist, and a Springboard Danse Montréal Emerging Choreographer in 2019. In the past two years, she has been an artist in residence with the European Projects Moving Digits and Biofriction. In 2021 she will be a Forecast Mentee, under Mathilde Monnier’s guidance and an Associated Artist with The National Centre for Dance in Bucharest, while her latest stage piece — “Choreomaniacs” — brought her a second nomination as an Aerowaves Artist. Simona Deaconescu developed her style in dance film by placing the body in unwelcome natural places and creating long-shot cinematic compositions. Her films were selected and awarded by the most well-known dance film festivals in the world, in 2018 receiving the LOIKKA Award for “Sonder.” In 2019, Simona Deaconescu was one of the Romanian artists who exhibited video works at the New York Foundation for The Arts (USA), within the collective exhibition Principle of Migration, curated by Olivia Nițiș. Simona is currently preparing for her third short film, produced by Tangaj Productions and funded by the National Film Centre in Romania, recently selected at the Brussels Co-production Forum 2021.
In 2014, she founded her own project-based company — Tangaj Collective. Since 2015 she has been the co-founder and artistic director of the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival.
Participation is free. Registration is done by filling in the form.
The official premiere of the show RAMANENJANA will take place on April 8, 2022, at radialsystem, in Berlin, one of the most titled contemporary art spaces in Europe. On April 14 and 15, 2022, the show will have its Romanian premiere at the National Center for Dance Bucharest’s festival, and in the fall it will be presented on tour in Africa, in 3 cities in Madagascar (Antananarivo, Majunga and Diego Suarez) and in Johannesburg (South Africa). The project is supported and co-produced by Forecast, an interdisciplinary knowledge transfer network and developed under the mentorship of renowned French choreographer Mathilde Monnier.
“Women in the arts in Africa” is organized within the program ”Simona Deaconescu – CNDB Associate Artist”, as well as part of „ Body in crisis – research and artistic residency in dance” – project co-financed by The Romanian National Cultural Trust- AFCN.