Cameroon and Greenland are geographically separated by 8,058 kilometers. At a first look one can only see differences between these countries and their cultures, geography, climate conditions, traditions etc. Christian Etongo and Jessie Kleemann focus on one vital aspect that links both of their countries of origin: their colonial past. Their research specifically focusses on the disappearance of traditions and rituals as a consequence of colonialism and imperialist repression in their countries of origin. Christian and Jessie are interested in debating those consequences while reviving, today, those forgotten, often prohibited, rituals.
“In our research, we discovered that both of our works are in search of a re-evaluation of our cultures. By reenacting, in collaboration, certain traditions and rituals of our home countries we believe we can open a debate about the consequences of colonialism and imperialism and how it influenced our people to repress our own cultures”
About the Artist
For almost two decades now, Cameroonian artist Raphael Christian Etongo has devoted his career to performance art. He leads Perform’action, short intensive training workshops for research and experimentation on performance art. Etongo’s work has been featured in various international festivals, and he contributes to international conferences and curatorial discussions. Etongo participated in the first pan African performance art festival, Afiriperforma Biennale, in Harare in 2013, and more recently was invited as a participant in the conference on performance art at the Goethe Institute Yaoundé for the Rencontres d’Arts Visuels de Yaoundé (RAVY) Festival, 2014. He actively promotes arts and culture in Cameroon, also opening a cultural space in Yaoundé, for artistic creation, meetings, workshops, and exchanges.
Christian also created a set of two solo performances for COLAB, both of which can be seen in this video: