SB13 Dakar Off-site project – Vive l’Indépendance de l’Eau


Dates: 8 – 9 January 2017
Location: Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal


Taking place at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, Vive l’Indépendance de l’Eau [Long Live the Independence of Water] is the first of the four Sharjah Biennial 13 off-site projects.

SB13 curator Christine Tohme has invited artist Kader Attia to be the interlocutor who researches and dialogues with the keyword ‘water’.

Attia has conceived and organised a programme of workshops, symposiums and performances that theoretically and artistically explore the keyword ‘water’. His intervention takes place within SB13’s broader examination of the fundamental elements of human existence – networks, infrastructures, and more directly, natural elements such as earth, crops and the culinary.

Water is a life-and-death force; it sustains, soothes and extinguishes. It is both an internal component of the human body and an external linkage between myriad peoples, in ways either positive or deeply destructive. Aptly, Attia has chosen the Atlantic port town of Dakar, located in the Cap-Vert Peninsula, from which to launch his multidisciplinary investigation of water. Dakar’s coastal positioning echoes that of Sharjah. In placing these two cities in conversation with one another, as cities turning away from the sea, Attia brings to the surface commonalities in their divergent histories. Yet the investigation into these sometimes fraught histories is nevertheless timely and helps to contextualise the struggles of contemporaneous societies.

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