Cultural and artistic actors in Douala By Giulia Paoletti, 2007

Inserito da iopensa il Lun, 2010-11-22 00:32

Cultural and artistic actors in Douala By Giulia Paoletti, 2007
Research conduced in 2007 in Douala Cameroon
Published in Paoletti, Giulia. “Cultural and Artistic Initiatives in Douala.” Douala in Translation Eds. Lucia Babina and Marilyn Douala Bell. Rotterdam: Episode Publishers, 2007. 243-47.

The following chapter provides a brief description and contact details of cultural and artistic actors working in Douala, Cameroon. Needless to say, this list is not comprehensive as not all galleries, associations and museums working in Douala have been included. Further research is needed. Yet, the institutions here included give a good sense of the dynamicity of the artistic scene in Douala, which has been particularly vibrant in the last decade. Further visual and textual documentation is available at, where information and data can also be revisited, added and updated.

1. Archives

1.1 Photo Prunet

Photo Prunet was founded in 1952 by the photographer George Prunet, who was working in Douala for international enterprises. Accordingly, his photos document the urban development of the city starting from the 1950s. The photo archive, which is not yet digitalized, includes up to 100.000 negatives and can be consulted by the public.
sis au 547, rue Pau, Douala
Tel. 00237 99 31 26 31
Fax. 00237 342 74 17

2. Associations and collectives

2.1 Art Days and Kobaliq

Salif Ngounga created this association to promote contemporary art in Cameroon, organize workshops for artists and curate exhibitions in collaboration with Le Carré des Artistes.
Tel.: +237 99 42 17 18

2.2 Art Bakery

Founded in 2002 by Goddy Leye in the village of Bonendale a few kilometers from Douala, it offers trainings for emerging artists (Master Class) and journalists (Art Daily) as well as residency programs for young artists (Portfolio). The program Bakery supports artists with the technical development of multimedia works of art.
Art Bakery
Bonandale, Douala

2.3 Cercle Kapsiki

The collective Cercle Kapsiki was created in 1998 by five artists (Blaise Bang, Salifou Lindou, Jules Wokam, Hervé Yamguen et Hervé Youmbi) with the specific aim of producing urban interventions and encouraging the debate on the role of art in the urban space. In 2003 they promoted the international workshop Scenographie Urbaine in the neighbourhood of New-Bell in collaboration with Scur&°k.

2.4 Mbamboul’art

The association Mbamboul’art was funded in 2004 by a collective of artists, writers and dancers (among which Cédric Dibandjo, Eric Owam and Guy Rodrigue Belegue) in the neighborhood of New Deïdo, Douala. The collective organises workshops with artists and young people and encourages the debate on the development of contemporary art practices in Douala.

3. Atelier, commercial and independent galleries

3.1 Art Wash

Founded in 2003 by Dou Essoukan and Koko Komégné, it functions as personal atelier, art centre and laboratory. It staged a two weeks workshop in 2001 and 2002 – Squat’art. The idea behind Squat’art was to promote young artists who did not have the possibility of exhibiting in commercial galleries. Indeed, the paucity of galleries in Douala in the 1990s prevented emerging artists from gaining visibility and experience. The first Squat’art took place in Bali in January 2001 and involved more than twenty artists. The second edition, which was a tribute to the artist Kuoh Eyango, was organised in Deïdo from the 4th to the 17th February. The organising committee, led by Komégné, Essoukan and Viking invited over forty artists who produced and exhibited original works.
Degrando Boutique
Deïdo, Douala, Cameroon
Tel. +237 924 84 91
Koko Komégné:; Dou Essoukan:

3.2 Atelier Viking

Artist Viking Kanganyam André founded atelier Viking in March 1976 to promote contemporary art in Cameroon. Viking taught visual arts (painting, sculpture, graphic art, drawing and serygraphy) to young artists encouraging them to explore the potentialities of all media and to transform materials found in loco. Since 2001, atelier Viking has been mostly employed for exhibitions such as Sweet Again (2002) and Yann and Co (2001).
BP 3122 Douala, Cameroon
Rue Jamot face Garage Technique Auto
Bessengue, Douala
Tel. +237 987 87 55

3.3 doual’art

doual’art is a contemporary art and research centre created in 1991 by Marylin Douala Bell and Didier Shaub. For the last 15 years, it has been fostering cultural projects and commissioned site-specific art interventions within Douala. doual’art works as an intermediary between artists, economic actors and local collectives. It organised exhibitions, conferences (Café philosophique, Café littéraire, Ars& Urbis), residency programmes and urban interventions (Rythm’lk, Link Project, Douala ville d’art et d’histoire, La Nouvelle liberté, Art’venture, Pedestrian Bridge, Fresco in Madagascar, Cadavres Exquis). – Tel. +23 73 43 32 59
Bonanjo, BP 650 Douala, Cameroon

3.4 Bonapriso Art Center (BC Arts)

In the last fifteen years, Annie Kadji has been active in the art scene of Douala promoting contemporary arts through workshops and art courses. The actual gallery space in Bonapriso was created in 2004.Since then, BC Arts has organised exhibitions of contemporary art (Art Convention Esprit Contemporain 2005; Signature 2006; Exposition de Fammes 2006; Signatures les péres de la peinture camerounaise), artefacts (Artisanats du monde) and objects of interior design. Most recently, BC Arts has hosted the second edition of DUTA (Douala Urban Touch of Arts 2007).
Near Rue Njo-Njo, Bonapriso
B.P. 13001 Douala Cameroon
Tel. +237 957 39 03

3.5 Espace Créateur

Espace Créateur was inaugurated by Made Jong in 2005 in Akwa, Douala. This space functions as a window for the couture produced in Jong’s atelier and emerging artists who wish to exhibit. Since the 1990s Made Jong has designed events to promote contemporary fashion and art with a specific sensibility to women’s rights and history (Carnival, Images des Reines since 2004; L’Art dans la Rue since 2004; Reines d’Afrique 1995).
40 rue Drout, Akwa
B.P. 17 Douala, Cameroon
Tel. +237 97 93 485

3.6 Galerie MAM

Marème Malong Meslin Samb founded Galerie Mam in 1995. In 2005, Malong established a partnership with MTN Foundation. The gallery has three main programme-areas: exhibits contemporary artists in Douala and in international art platforms such as Dak’art, organizes workshops for children and encourages emerging artists through residency programmes in Bonendale, Douala.
rue Tobie Kuoh, Bonanjo, Douala
B.P. 40 Douala, Cameroon
Tel. +237 342 28 63

3.7 Galerie Keuko

Galerie Keuko was created in 2002 by Richard Keuko to promote contemporary art from Cameroon, organising group and solo exhibitions (Etienne Maurice 2006; Koko &Co. 2006; Confluences 2005; Impulsions 2005). They are currently working to establish a training programme for young artists.
B.P. 24246 Douala, Cameroon
Rue Lottin Same, Akwa, Douala
Tel. +237 941 48 80

3.8 Le Carré des artistes

Veronique Aubry inaugurated Carré des artistes in 2004. Since then, Salif Ngounga has designed its artistic programme organising exhibitions (Couleurs et femmes 2007; Pirogue de Noël 2006; Fantasmes en bleu 2005) and atelier promoting artists in Douala.
50, rue Batibois Sortie du parking Score, Bonapriso
B.P. 15432 Douala Cameroon
Tel. +237 965 00 32

4. Cultural institutions

4.1 Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture (New Bell and Bonamoussadi)

Cardinal Christian Tumi founded the first MJC (Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture) the 18th February 1995 in the neighbourhood of Akwa as a result of the collaboration between the Archidiocèse of Douala and COE (Centro Orientamento Educativo). Throughout the years, the MJCs have become a successful meeting place for the dwellers of Douala, and specifically youths who are involved in trainings and artistic projects. Indeed, the MJC have 350 members with up to 1000 people benefiting each week.
New Bell: near la Paroisse Notre Dame de Victoire
Bonamoussadi: near la Paroisse Notre Dame de l’Annonciation

4.2 Maison de la Culture Jevais (Bepanda Omnisport)

The building is currently under construction. Françoise Colas, coordinator of the Project Jevais (Jeunesse et vie associative pour l’insertion sociale) is responsible of the project.
Bepanda Omnisport
Douala, Cameroon

4.3 CCF – Centre Culturel français de Douala Blaise Cendrars

Directed by Mangin Benoît, the CCF promotes cultural and artistic events in the city of Douala such as: cinema, conferences, exhibitions, residency programmes, training for youth, prizes, publishing house.
61 bis Bd de la Liberté BP 01 Akwa Douala, Cameroon

5. Events

5.1 Bessengue City

The project Bessengue City was designed and coordinated by Goddy Leye. It took place in Bessengue, Douala in October 2002. James Beckett launched an experimental radio (Radio Bessengue City); Jesus Palomino ideated a shelter using local materials; Goddy Leye produced an art installation with portraits; and Hartanto designed the website.

5.2 DUTA: Douala Urban Touch Of Arts, Biennale des Arts Visuels

The Association Zoom launched the first edition of DUTA in 2005. It aimed at promoting artists from the African continent and its diaspora. During ten days, painting, sculpture, installations and videos are exhibited throughout the city of Douala within major institutions. DUTA recurs every two years.
Association Zoom
BP 993, Douala
Tel. +237 980 34 66

5.3 Exit Tour

In occasion of Dak’art 2006, seven artists (i.e. Ginette Daleu, Justine Gaga, Dunja Herzog, Lucfosther Diop, Achilleka, Alioum Moussa, Goddy Leye) departed from Douala and reached Dakar using only public transportation. During the three-months journey, the artists visited galleries, artists and participated to workshops. This project was initiated by Art Bakery.

5.4 Scénographies Urbaines

From the 16th December 2002 to the 5th January 2003, the cercle Kapsiki in collaboration with Scur&°k, invited more than twenty artists from Africa and Europe to realise installations and performances in a the neighborhood of New Bell, Douala.
Cercle Kapsiki
Yervé Youmbi
Yel: +2379829924
Jean-Christophe Lanquetin
Tel. +33(0)680085856

5.5 SUD

SUD 2007 is a long-term programme of cultural activities designed and directed by doual’art in collaboration with iStrike Foundation. By transforming Douala into a case study, SUD facilitates site-specific productions, documents art initiatives within the urban space and gives international visibility to the most experimental projects produced in Cameroon. SUD is structured in six phases: Preparatory meeting (Rotterdam, January 2007); International workshop Ars&Urbis (Douala, March 2007); Douala catalogue (December 2007); SUD-Salon Urbain de Douala (Douala, December 2007); Wide SUD (Europe 2007-2008) and Research Evaluation (2007-2008).
iStrike Foundation:

6. Journals and magazines

6.1 DIARTgonale

Quarterly panafrican journal dedicated to contemporary art in Africa. Directed by the artist Achillekà Komguem, it was founded in 2007 and it is distributed in Cameroon. It is published by ARTCE (Association Art pour la Conscientisation et l’Education) with the support of Lamia MEDDEB, Suisse.
Yaoundé, Cameroon B.P. 513
Tel. +237 753 36 08

7. Music

So Sound record, Bonamoussadi, Douala
Pandabe Connection, Bevanda, Douala
Constant, Big Boss, Ndogbong, Douala
Red Zone, New Bell, Douala

Licenza Creative Commons
Cultural and artistic actors in Douala in Douala in Translation, Rotterdam: Episode Publishers, 2007. 243-27 by Giulia Paoletti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.