CIMAM wishes to express its support to Koyo Kouoh, Artistic director of Raw Material Company and the entire team of this contemporary art center in Dakar.
After the opening of the exhibition “Precarious Imaging: Visibility and Media Surrounding African Queerness” that is part of the independent program of Dak’art 2014, the 11th Biennial of Contemporary African Art (9 May – 8 June) and co-organized by Koyo Kouoh and the independent curator Ato Malinda, the contemporary art center was vandalized on May 13. On May 31st Raw Material Company was forced to interrupt the exhibition due to continuous pressure and acts of violence from the religious community and particularly from the Islamic NGO Jamra.
We are against such pressures on any cultural institution dedicated to promoting the principles of artistic expression and freedom. And we consider that it is the duty of the authority to defend any public or private initiative endeavored in promoting these principles.
The programming of art institutions is done for the construction of a civil and public space of debate and of a critical discussion around the experiences we share. Art institutions are for freedom, respect and exchange; never for repression, violence nor pressure.
CIMAM wishes to encourage debate and civilized exchange of ideas and wants to express the deep concern for the turn of the actions against the freedom of artistic expressions and of the values of dialogue defended by the Raw Material Company.
CIMAM has initiated a petition addressed to Dr. Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, Minister of Culture of Senegal, to support Koyo Kouoh, artistic director of the Raw Material Company, and the entire team of this contemporary art center in Dakar.