Art | Mathka Paris | Exhibition | Nomadic abstraction

Acrylic on canvas, Mathka Paris - 2019

For a few months now the visual artist Mathka Paris has been exhibited in the lobby of the Grand Hotel du Niger, in Niamey. Blue, red, ochres… a bright palette, chosen as a signature, contrasts with this vast hall in which I finally enter to discover the work of the French-Nigerien artist. For this exhibition in the country where she grew up, Mathka Paris presents a series of acrylics on canvas, created between 2015 and 2019.

In between abstraction and surrealism, the artist transcends the Wodaabé culture of which she is the heir, to make us travel between dream and reality. In phantasmagorical settings, Fulani figures are in conversation. Women are omnipresent in the work of Mathka Paris. Singular headdress, make-up, scarification and adornment act as armour. Self-portrait or universal figure, with a contemplative gaze, a nomadic spirit, she remains fascinating and elusive.

Untitled - Mathka - Acrylic on canvas, 2019
Untitled – Mathka Paris – Acrylic on canvas, 2019

And always this zebu. Companion of the people of breeders. This zebu looking at me from the four corners of the room. This emblematic and powerful figure, muse of the artist. From the top of his presence, silent, he watches, he protects, sometimes he hypnotizes. If the woman proudly wears her braids, he wears his horns. Unusual objects float in weightlessness. A cigarette burns insolently here and there. In the background, the horizon, these textures and landforms that bring depth to each painting, like an escape route, vanishing line or line of sight.

In the abstract works, volumes, curves and fine lines like threads intertwine. The golden tones dazzle, changing with the light like shifting dunes.

Beyond the warm colours, a part of darkness and enigma remain. Sharing daydreams, anxieties and fantasies, Mathka Paris takes our imagination beyond the frame. In a contemporary way, Mathka pays tribute to the traditional Fulani Wodaabe culture. If the installation could have presented the works in a better way, thanks to this exhibition, the characters born under other horizons, enriched by physical and inner journeys, return to their land, like shepherds after the transhumance… for the great pleasure of the people of Niamey !

Mathka Paris - Exhibition, Niamey 2022

Mathka Paris Exhibition

Presented by le Grand Hôtel du Niger
Opening : Octobre 29, 2021
Niamey, Niger

Untitled - Mathka Paris, 2017

Visit Mathka Paris’ website here.

Movie | Zinder | Another Look at the Sahel

Zinder film - Aïcha Macky

The Sahel as far as the eye can see. A city, Zinder. Scars, muscles, rage,… and the rage to live too.

Last June, it was in front of a packed house that the premiere of the movie Zinder took place in Niamey.
After several international screenings the Nigerien director Aïcha Macky was back home to present her latest documentary.

Continue reading Movie | Zinder | Another Look at the Sahel

Shopping local in Niamey | 4 stores run by creative women

Zamany Accessory - Shop Niamey

Fashion, interior design or delicatessen, in the Nigerian capital creativity is flourishing and several original stores have been created, highlighting local and continental know-how. From the Koira Kano district to the old small market via Yantala, here are four stores initiated by creative and inspiring women.

Continue reading Shopping local in Niamey | 4 stores run by creative women

Dance Festival | Dialogues de Corps | Ouagadougou

Dance Festival - Dialogues de Corps 2020 - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

On December 9, the festival Dialogues de Corps will open its doors for a new edition : Nos Solitudes Partagées (Our Shared Lonliness), at the Choreographic Center La Termitière in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In these times of uncertainty and restrictions, the festival is adapting and this edition will have a special resonance with the presentation of mainly solos. An ode to all isolated bodies and a message of resilience and hope.

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Aftown | Streaming from Africa

Aftown - streaming african music

Aftown is a beautiful Ghanaian initiative: an online music listening platform that promotes African music and is adapted to the African market. The goals of the Aftownmusic platform are to support artists from the continent and make their music accessible to fans.

Telling the story of Africa. Making Africa. Promoting Africa. For Africans and by Africans. To showcase African music in its plurality on the web. These are the wishes of Aftown.

The best-known streaming platforms are not designed for the specificity of the African ecosystem where music is however omnipresent and the scene prolific. On the continent the internet access is often expensive and its quality is not always optimal. Moreover, in cities as well as in the countryside, credit cards or PayPal are far from being the most popular methods of payment.
In response to this observation, and backed by its experience in distribution and support for artists, Technation Ghana, TIC Ghana and the BBnZ Live label are launched the Aftown streaming platform in June 2017.

Aftown - Streaming from Africa

Aftown is an online music listening and downloading service.

The platform offers exclusively African music, labeled or independent artists: afrobeats, pop, gospel, house, high life, reggae … Aftown reveals and promotes talents beyond the few mainstream artists featured on traditional platforms.
Artists can sell their music on the marketplace and Aftown even offers workshops to help them make the most of it.
In addition, it is committed to remunerating artists as fairly as possible and makes their income available immediately.
This is a real development in a context where piracy is the law. Aftown contributes to the education of fans by inviting them to support the artists and to invest so that they can make a living from their art.

Aftown music workshop - Ghana 2020

With free and premium services, Aftown allows fans to get the music they want faster and discover new songs.
Users can pay with the mobile money system, using their phone credit, which is widely used on the continent.
The platform also strives to minimize data consumption, a key factor in a territory where the Internet is one of the most expensive in the world and rural areas are poorly connected.

We can only applaud this initiative made in Africa, which offers a unique service. And the Aftown team is ambitious with plans to expand into Nigeria and Senegal. Remaining African and developing more content, especially videos… To be continued!

Discover all of Aftown’s services and listen to music from the continent here