Fr 18 Dec 09
City of Women, a project of REFDAF, Dakar, Senegal
Every Friday afternoon, a local "cultural ambassador" appears as host or hostess of a performance, presentation or discussion relating to the theme of the week, this week Squat.
Madjiguéne Cissé has become a key figure in the fight for emancipation and empowerment, engaging both in the contexts of the so-called developed as well as developing world.
In France, Madgjiguéne led a political movement for the rights of illegal immigrants – “sans papiers” – engaged in changing the official as well as public perception of a huge part of society invisible and marginalized. After her return to her home country, Senegal, Madjiguéne Cissé founded REFDAF (Reseau des femmes pour le development durable en Afrique) which has grown into one of the most remarkable institutions in the field. REFDAF is generating education, job facilities and infrastructure development – but also an international network of collaboration. Very important to its focus is the project “Cité des Femmes,” a settlement developed with and by 300 women and their families, intended to house more than 1000 inhabitants, which is currently under construction.
Alejandra Riera, an Argentine artist based in Paris has followed Madjiguéne’s work over the past years and created a documentary which not only portrays the participatory design process of the womens’ settlement, but also uses participatory strategies for the filming and production of the documentation, making the women part of the artistic project and representation of their work.
The Open Podium will present REFDAF’s “Cité de Femmes” with a lecture by Madjiguéne Cissé which will show parts of Alejandra Riera’s documentary of the work of REFDAF/“Cité de femmes”. A public discussion on the project and film with “Squat” exhibition curator Jörg Stollmann will reflect on the exemplary character of the project, and its potential relation to the Dutch context in regard to immigration, self-building and empowerment….Where is the Open City under construction?
For more information on "Cité des Femmes" go to: www.urbaninform.net
Madjiguéne Cissé, Dakar/Senegal
Madjiguéne Cissé engaged in the political fight for the “sans papiers” immigrant movement in France, before she returned to her native country, Senegal. In Dakar, she became the co-founder of REFDAF (Réseau des Femmes pour le Développement durable en Afrique). This program is empowering women in varying regional programs which include wide scope agricultural projects, craft and semi-industrial processing and packaging businesses, training programs which render women qualified in professional, social, cultural and human spheres, a program for the commercialisation of women’s produce through REFDAF’s Space for Exchange and a large social housing project for women and their families. www.refdaf.org
Alejandra Riera, Paris/France
Alejandra Riera is an Argentine artist, living and working in Paris. In her work, she critically reflects socio-political contexts and engages in the contemporary political and urban discourse. In 2001, she founded L’Assiciation with the architect and philosopher Doina Petrescu (Sheffield University). Her work has been widely exhibited and published, f.e. in Witte de With (Rotterdam), documenta 11 & 12 (Kassel) and MACBA (Barcelona). de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandra_Riera
Partners: Urbaninform and Hivos Cultuurfonds
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Forum, NAI - 5:00 pm