Douala in Translation

Inserito da iopensa il Dom, 2007-12-09 19:43

Iolanda Pensa, Princess in Douala in Translation. A view of the city and its creative transformative potentials, Episode Publishers, Rotterdam, 2008, pp. 110-117, cc by-sa.

Douala, the economic and cultural capital of Cameroon, is one of the most important cities in Central Africa. Informal settlements, micro-economies and spontaneous use of the public space have a primary role in the formation of its urban identity. This fast growing city is the context in which doual’art, a research centre of urban practices, has been operating for more than 16 years. Since 1991 the co-founders, Marilyn Douala Bell and Didier Schaub have fostered cultural projects and commissioned site-specific art interventions, using art and culture to develop collective processes of urban change.

The publication brings together cross-disciplinary analyses of Douala that seek to go beyond predictable and prejudicial views about African towns. Douala becomes a thrilling case study in which artistic practices engage and affect the cityscape.

With contributions by Lucia Babina, Edgar Cleijne, Marilyn Douala Bell, Emiliano Gandolfi, Christian Hanussek, Salifou Lindou, Dominique Malaquais, Lionel Manga, Nsame Mbongo, Zayd Minty, Giulia Paoletti, Iolanda Pensa, Didier Schaub, AbdouMaliq Simone, Kamiel Verschuren, Alexander Vollebregt, Silvia Viganò and Hervé Yamguen.

The publication will be released the first week of December 2007, and presented for the first time in Douala (Cameroon), during SUD – Salon Urbain de Douala, an international festival of artistic site-specific interventions, that is going to take place from the 9 up to the 16 December 2007.
Both the publication and the event SUD are collaboration projects by doual’art ( and iStrike (

The book was made possible by Mondriaan Foundation, Prince Claus Fund and Fondazione Lettera 27/WikiAfrica.
paperback/ 256 pp/ ISBN 978-90-5973-071-7