Afropixel 4: the resistance gardens

Kër Thiossane, Dakar, Senegal
08 May 2014 - 06 Jun 2014

Afropixel 4: the resistance gardens

Throughout the resistance gardens, a lifestyle is establishing itself, not only in regard to the issue of the garden, but in a general way, to the relationship between a man and his socio-biological environment where, according to the standards of the Garden Movement, the living economy consists in doing as much as possible with as little as possible against the existing energies. This applies to daily activities in every domain. The expansion of the concept of resistance is possible on all levels. However, it is necessary to stay in permanent alert in order to avoid confusing consumerism flow, ideals of development and misleadings with ecology. – Gilles Clément

Since 2012, Kër Thiossane has developed a plurality of reflexions and workshops about common property in Senegal. By a reinforcement with perspectives from the south, these “breakfasts” have actively contributed to the international network for the implementation and animation of the common.

In 2014, Kër Thiossane is still conducting the actions initiated in these past few years by opening up in his neighborhood Sicap Liberté, a school where the “In-common” is experienced daily in public spaces around a shared artistic garden and a fablab structure. These are real “resistance gardens ” in a capital constantly evolving towards a capitalist and individualistic model, plagued by growing tensions between rurality and urbanity, tradition and modernity. This school is a real “laboratory” of research and experimentation in several disciplines, crossing art, technology, urban ecology, economics, and the practice of good neighborly relations. Artistic creativity and the other activities suggested around this institution intend to open spaces for reflection, establish experimental methods that put into practice the question of being together.

Throughout projects and meetings around the resistance gardens, Kër Thiossane allows art and culture to contribute to sustainable innovation, by the implementation of the concepts of open culture and free exchange of knowledge. As such, the “Commons School ” advocates an ethic of mutuality, conviviality and the art of living together.

Afropixel 4 is the occasion for the public launch of this common school.

In the continuity of the previous editions, the Afropixel festival and Kër Thiossane will invite local residents, craftsmen, thinkers, designers, IT specialists, gardeners, botanists…, to get together and wonder about this concept of “gardens of resistance”, knowledge sharing and “in common”, on the planet in general but also on the scale of an african capital as Dakar.

These previous actions, allowed us to generate the program and the reflections offered during the festival. Group reflections, meetings with the inhabitants. The installation of the Defko Ak NEP fablab and the Textile Design Remix workshop with the social rehabilitation center of Liberté 3 and the foreshadowing of the Jet d’Eau garden .

All of the events presented in this program are free and open for access to all.

Workshops and trips by inscriptions. More informations can be found on the Kër Thiossane website , in the “News” section.

Download the programme (fr) here 




Creations AND Artistic Residencies :

Fernando Arias / Mas Arte Mas Accion (Colombia)
de Fernando Arias
Opening May 12th – 19.00 at Kër Thiossane

The artist Fernando Arias works between Bogotá, the Colombian Pacific Coast (Chocó) and London. Through video, photography, installations and activities, he explores the human condition. The recurring themes in his work include the conflicts, sexuality, religion, and the social and environmental issues.
His creations are part of several collections including Daros South America ( Zurich) ; the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) ; the Museum of Modern Art ( Bogotá) ; a collection for Latin American Art at the University of Essex, his prestigious private collections and collective exhibitions are numerous and all around the world.
For the first time in Africa, within these three weeks of residency, Fernando Arias will begin a work around the concept of resistance gardens, in the context of a collaborative process by interacting with the local population. The outcome of this residence will be shared on the occasion of an opening on May 12th at Ker Thiossane.


Box of Wishes : Interactive Video Installation
Tiziana Manfredi & Marco Lena
Opening May 12th – 19.00, Kër Thiossane

The “Box of Wishes” installation is inspired by images of the urban landscape of Dakar especially by these street vendors who wander around the capital with cages filled with birds which Dakar residents buy and release by blowing them with their desires or wishes. This interactive installation allows the audience to virtually release a bird and receive in return dreamy images suggestive of the innermost desires of the population of Dakar. The installation will be presented on the Jet d’eau grounds around the garden between May 12th and May 17th.
Lena Marco and Tiziana Manfredi are living in Dakar. Beyond their own personal artistic practices, they are involved in several projects dedicated to the creation and production of images and documentaries.


The Afro-Pixel : Alternative Currency
Mansour Ciss
(Senegal – Germany) ?937

Mansour Ciss through his “Laboratory of Deberlinisation” has been borrowing for years the language of economics to develop a cultural concept : the Afro, a single African currency, making of his work an artistic medium which raises substantive economic and political questions.
Upon invitation by Kër Thiossane, Mansour Ciss is designing an alternative currency to be used in the neighborhood particularly around the fablab and the garden.
Considered as a new form of barter or loyalty card, this currency can facilitate the exchange of services or goods. It is a social initiative for the establishment of a collective mutual assistance among the residents of a neighborhood. This currency will be used during the festival for meals or products of the fablab ; it could also be considered as an artwork or a collector currency.


sound creation and free music
Abdelah Hassak (Opentaqafa Casablanca, Morocco) + senegalese musicians
9 – 14 may
Kër Thiossane

Organized in collaboration with the Morrocan structure Opentaqafa, this residency brings together the Moroccan musician Abdelah Hassak and contemporary Senegalese artists who are open to opensource creation, and aims to raise awareness on the non-restrictive alternative copyrights, the appropriate use of modalities for downloading and free remixes.
Following a week of group creativity around computer-assisted electro-acoustic music, a compilation “Free Share Africa” will be released under a Creative Commons license and submitted for download. The result of this collaboration between Senegalese and Moroccans artists will also be presented to the public on the evening of May 16th. This residency will be ended by a round table opened to all musicians and Senegalese film directors in the course of which netlabels and streaming, their values and principles will be discussed.


Video mapping & opensource software
Mike Latona aka Los Hermanos (Belgium)
9 – 14 mai
May 9th – 14th SupiMax – Biscuiterie (the cookie factory)
Public Presentation May 16th – 21.00 Jet d’Eau Grounds
Terrain Jet d’Eau

For many years now, the facades of several buildings are being used as supports for a new kind of video screening : video mapping. This technique allows the use of urban volumes for projecting images, animations or light. VJs – or video jockeys – are the true leaders of mapping and are playing with the shadows and lights effects of the supports and image overlays. These projects are developed and animated using specialized software,which is in most cases payable.
During this fourth edition of Afropixel, Mike Latona international professional of veejaying will offer to Senegalese artists of different disciplines (graphic designers, graffiti artists, veejays…) to explore the still undeveloped mapping in West Africa, with the open source software MapMap. The theme of the workshop will be ” the resistance gardens “.
The workshop outcomes will be presented to the public during the evening of May 17th. The workshop will be held in partnership with SupiMax School , located on the site of the former Biscuiterie (Cookie Factory)



Knowledge sharing and free cultures

youth and media WORKSHOP PD (Public Domain) Remix
May 28th –> 31th – 14.00 / 18.30
Kër Thiossane – Fablab – Garden

Kër Thiossane invited young Senegalese from age 12 to 16 to remix some artworks within the fablab, (visual arts, literature, music, video, electronic or mechanical engineering ) of the international public domain with contemporary African arts under free license.
Since the African public domain artworks are becoming quite rare and overpriced, it is the opportunity to seek Senegalese artists from all disciplines combined, so they can produce an artwork under a free license, which will inspire the young people during the public Remix.
Workshop implemented by Kër Thiossane, echoing the symposium and the Domain Remix workshops presented in Boston by the Open Knowledge Foundation, Communia – Berkman Youth and Media for Internet and Society and UNICEF in April 2014.


Jerry Cane building computers from recycled parts
In collaboration with Woelab – – Togo
May 19th -> 21th
Fablab Defko Ak Ñëp

A Jerrycan means (container) in English. A Jerry is a computer that you can build yourself with recycled objects and computer hardware all assembled in a 20 liter container, to which an open source software is applied. The Jerry Cane workshop plans to open up and democratize the knowledge and use of digital technologies by recycling through dismantling, studying and alternative usage.
It intends to develop awareness on the environmental and social challenges of technologies, the promotion of open organization models , horizontal and reusable.
During this workshop opened to everyone, the participants can build a Jerry server, able to to manage for example the mailing system of an NGO or the administration of a School / University of over 1,000 users, a server that provides a platform for online training or sharing of documents and electronic files to students outside of the university, or a single computer running on an open source software (Linux, Debian, Fedora …).

_A campaign for a collect of materials to be recycled is being led before the workshop.


African Fabbers computational design, digital manufacturing and autoconstruction
Paolo Cascone and Urban FabLab (naples – Italy)
facebook : Urban FabLab / African Fabbers
June 2nd -> 6th
Fablab – Jet d’Eau Grounds

In the course of this workshop, with the machines from the fablab,artist carpenters , architecture students, young people from the neighborhood, and young Europeans invited by African fabbers, will build the exterior of the fablab accordingly with the neighborhood.
The participants will deal with digital design techniques, they will be taught how to use a 3D printer to produce the first study models of the project. Together they will develop a prototype to 1/1 scale using artisanal techniques and advanced technologies.
The workshop will be followed by a construction phase from June 7th to 12th, and a public presentation on June 13th.



plant knowledge and Dakar’s resistance gardens

Cartography of Dakar’s green spaces
In collaboration with OpenStreetMap
Facebook : OpenStreetMap.Senegal
Twitter : @OpenStreetMapSn
May 2nd & 3rd ; During the entire festival

The control and regulation of geographical information have become a prominent economical, political and social challenge. Even though the geographical component is virtually found in all the development and layout projects, access to an open digital source of updated geographic data of quality remains impossible in Senegal. Initiated in Senegal since May 2012, the project Senegal OpenStreetMap (OSM SN) intends to build a free geographical database of Senegal by relying on collaborative developing methodologies.
OpenStreetMap is a web project that aims to create a free map of the world, based on the work of voluntary contributors by means of data collection (GPS, smartphones, survey maps), the scanning of satellite images, and a public release of geographical databases.
The OpenStreetMap Senegal Community is invited within the framework of the Afropixel festival to organize a workshop in which the participants will map out the green spaces of Dakar (gardens, parks, truck farming areas, micro-gardening areas…), which are almost inexistant in the capital but yet increasingly appreciated by Dakar residents.
After the acquisition, mastering of software tools and data collection (GPS, walkingpaper, smartphone), participants will go on targeted areas to gather data (cartographic and attributes) of Dakar’s green spaces.


Plant Inventory and free tools
In collaboration with Tela-Botanica _
6 – 15 mai
May 6th – 15th Théâtre de l’Engouement, Ndougouman and IFAN University, Dakar

This workshop conducted in the region of Dakar and Toubab Dialaw (50 km from Dakar) aims to complete the inventory and cartography of the western African flora from field data, thanks to collaborative capture and data sharing tools. This project is being carried out with the expertise of Tela Botanica and tela-botanists from Senegal, including the Laboratory of Botany of IFAN Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar.
The workshop starts with an initial field phase : data collection, with about fifteen botanists and teachers, but also students, traditional physicians and enthusiasts amateurs of Kédougou, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
The second phase revolves around the establishment of records for the botanical trail and the gathering of traditional knowledge, thereby enhancing the works of the first field phase and enriching them with exhanges between the holders of traditional knowledge and the younger ones, around free digital tools.
These botanical sheets “Smart’Flore”, made by the participants, will generate the botanical trails and will later be presented to festival-goers. The data collected by using the tools provided by Tela-Botanica will be published under a Creative Commons license CC-by-sa and may be broadcasted and reused by various actors in the open data community.


“jet d’eau” GARDEN
Emmanuel Louisgrand Greenhouse Association (Saint-étienne – France)

In the 70s, Sicap was a neighborhood well known for its cleanliness and for the quality of its public spaces(green spaces, residences, “jet d’eau”… ). Today to the great regret of all, the common ground of the SICAP/ Jet d’Eau buildings located at a few hundred meters from Ker Thiossane, is crossed by every day by the local residents, is characterized by its lack of collective management which leads to insecurity, garbage dumping and uncontrolled activities.
After several months of dialogue with the residents and the municipality of Sicap Liberté, Kër Thiossane begins on this jet d’eau ground, with the artist/gardener Emmanuel Louisgrand and its GreenHouse structure, a collaborative artistic garden : the preliminary outline of this garden will be inaugurated on May 16th 2014.
It will become in time a true green island, to regain a quality of life that would benefit all. Besides being a green space, Jet d’Eau garden will be a place for ephemeral creation to win the city back, an open air workshop where the participants will simultaneously be actors and spectators.
With this configuration of the garden, a new dialogue is established with residents who are invited to cultivate and take part in the work and activities that will be developed : workshops for children, raising awareness on environmental issues, food and sustainable development, cultural and scientific activities…



Débats publics et échanges participatifs

Botanics and free seeds
May 15th – 14.00 / 18.00
Théâtre de l’Engouement- Ndougouman
Free shuttle bus in the morning at 8.30 the departure from Jet d’Eau intersection, return in the evening at 19.00.

Registration required on KërThiossane’s website.

Faced with the depreciation of traditional knowledge and the exploitation of pharmacopoeial resources by the pharmaceutical firms, this debate questions the role of free software tools for sharing ethnobotanical knowledge in West Africa.
What are the standards of protection for plant species with open source tools ? Will the release of free plant data allows it to protect them from biopiracy ? What are seeds under free licenses ? What are the rights associated with seeds and plant varieties ?
Do they provide an alternative to the models of commercial agriculture and GMOs ?

Speakers : Lionel Maurel, Mathieu Gueye (IFAN), Mathias,

IT Engineers : Tela Botanica, Jennifer Téla Botanica, Jean Goep (Nebedaye), Andrew Paterson (Pixelache), Frère Elie (Abbey of Keur Moussa), Samuel Diémé ( Reserve of Popenguine).


Licences and free culture, what are the advantages for African creativity ?
May 17th – 15.00 / 19.00
SupiMax – Biscuiterie (Cookie Factory)

Within the context of an emerging creativity industry in Africa, where copyright is described as the primary source of income for authors, performers, publishers and producers, does the licensing system and free culture have an advantage for African artists ?
Virtually unknown to many talented African artists so far, can free licenses have an impact in the development of their careers ? Is African creativity, which never ceases to inspire the world, sufficiently protected with this licensing system ?
Before discussing such matters, an overview of the different licenses will be conducted by Primavera De Filippi, followed by an introduction of the legal aspects of free culture and a presentation of their declination within the areas of music, books, movies, video games and media by jurist Lionel Maurel, via a cartography with examples of free creations.

With Salah Malouli (Open Taqafa), Primavera De Filippi (Open Knowledge Foundation), Lionel Maurel (Calimaq) Aziz Dieng (Ministry of Senegalese Culture), Oumar Sall (Group 30), Didier Diop (Director of SupiMax).


Knowledge and culture sharing in a city like Dakar
june 6th – 15.00 / 19.00 Kër Thiossane
Kër Thiossane

To think of the issues of a peer to peer economy in a city like Dakar, is to first reflect on an alternative economic model based on network cooperation, exchange, creation of common value and the allocation of resources channeled through interpersonal interactions rather than by the pricing system. All of this in a world where economies are more and more based on knowledge, which is now being regarded as the most significant factor of economic growth.
Thinking about such alternative models for knowledge and culture sharing in African cities, is to contemplate such opportunities in cultural spaces which have established their exchanges on a logic of donations and donations-cons over a relational economy whose social interactions ensured the circulation of goods and the creation of shared wealth outside of the market systems .
It is also to think of these alternative models in areas which today are tormented by the major trends of the market economy, and where it is urgent to restore the conditions of production for new goods
Live introduction from Ecuador by Michel Bawens, presentation of the FOLK project : watch ?v=A4l7-4nGU9Y& Moderator : Felwine Sarr, with the participation of Jean-Charles Tall (architect) et d’Abdourahmane Seck (historian and anthropologist).


Webradio “Jang Out” for Sicap’s Commons School
Listen on Kër Thiossane and on Mixcloud

Under the editorial direction of Susana Moliner, a team of Senegalese journalists from Dakar (Manore FM, and the Voice of Women), of its suburbs with Echos2Rue (Rufisque Tech Hub) and the Community Radio of Kédougou, will cover the festival and its events, through debates, interviews and analyzes. Thanks to this webradio, the festival can be remotely followed, and its highlights will be shared with a larger audience.
Throughout the festival, the radio also seeks to showcase the atmospheres, spaces and the stakeholders who are carrying on the transmission of knowledge among communities, in the context of a city like Dakar.
In partnership with the Medialab Prado in Madrid and its “Laboratorio del Procomún”, the broadcasts carried out within the framework of the festival will generate the “La Aventura Aprender” platform, collective learning website. A streaming patch created during the Summerlab Casablanca 2013 is made available by OpenTaqafa for a simplified publication of online contents by journalists.
Equally, the program will dedicate an exclusive “resistance(s)ound” section around the concept of inner or collective resistance in the cities of Dakar, Alexandria, Madrid and Brussels with the participation de Ayman Assfour, Mohamed Ezz, Khaled Khaddal, Marta Vallejo and Tram Radio (Alexandria), Kamen Nedev and self/noise Radio (Madrid), Younes Baba Ali, Anna Raimondo and Saout Radio (Brussels).


Walking trails NDOUGOUMAN and Dakar


May 15th – 11.00 / 12.30 • Ndougouman
Free shuttle at 8.30am Departure from Jet-d’Eau intersection, returning the evening at 19.00.
Registration required on Kër Thiossane’s website.

A walking trail is proposed to festivalgoers around the Théâtre de l’Engouement. During a botanical stroll supervised by specialists, come and discover about eighty plant species of this extraordinary site. An opportunity to observe these species in their living environment, learn how to recognize them, and discover their history.

_Hiking shoes, Hat and sunglasses are required.

May 17th- 11.00/12.30 • Sicap District

Meeting at Ker Thiossane at 10,30

_Despite of what one might think, the urban environment is not lacking fascinating plants. Some abandoned spaces have particularly facilitated the installation of numerous plant species that we invite you to discover through a botanical trail materialized by Qrcodes in the Sicap Liberté neighborhood of Dakar. In collaboration with the Tela Botanica network and the specialists of IFAN, educational and recreational cards are available via smartphones, allowing a better understanding of Dakar’s plant biodiversity.


Defko Ak Nëp Fablab
Meeting and production area between digital innovation, creativity and traditional knowledge

The Defko Ak Niëp fablab is an open production space for the neighborhood where anyone can come to learn, experiment, pass on or produce. Defko Ak NEP mutualizes manufacturing machinery and takes upon the initiative to spin off free culture and digital technology, where the notions of sharing and fortification of common property are effective.
Through new partnerships between craftsmen, creators, IT specialists, dabblers and locals, this area explores the scope of the contribution of art, culture and traditional expertise for sustainable innovation, by the practical implementation of the concepts of free culture : a progressive and collectively built experiment, in which the emergence and networking of technological opensource projects for social purposes are favored.
During Afropixel, Defko Ak Ñëp puts on sale a collection of creations in limited series designed on the occasion of the Textile Pattern Remix workshop, or made with machines from the fablab.
Profits from the sales of these articles will be distributed in an equitable manner between the artists and the fablab, based upon the business model of a cooperative.



Evening party / soirée
may 16th – 20.45 / 0.00
Jet d’Eau grounds – Kër Thiossane

This launch party of the Commons School will take place with the inauguration of the Jet d’Eau Garden with a rich and festive program around creations from the workshops and invited artists, as well as frescos (special technique of wall painting on the ground) by Al Khali. A friendly atmosphere will bring together residents, festival goers,Dakar inhabitants and biennale participants around an artistico-culinary menu in favor of improving the art of living together.
On the menu for the evening : Forum Theater (with Kaadu Yarakh, their last play on land monopolization), mapping, mix, slam, dance, concerts with Baye Fall, Sarro and Get the feeling, Guena Guen, Kya …
Tantalize your taste buds and experiment new flavors, with a big “Thière ak Mboum ” (traditional Senegalese dish with Nebeday sauce), prepared in collaboration with the culinary students from the social rehabilitation center of Liberté 3, local women, Ken Bugul, Salimata Wade and other chefs ; will be served all along the evening at Kër Thiossane.
At the Festival, gourmet chefs and amateurs are encouraged to post their “Thière ak Mboum” recipes under free license on Kër Thiossane’s website.


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