Talking Objects in Conversation: Hamady Bocoum

Hamady Bocoum in Conversation with Malick Ndiayé

What knowledge is hidden in objects? What memories are archived in them? What do they have to tell us and how do we make them speak?

Hamady Bocoum, born in Kanel in north-eastern Senegal, is Director of the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire at Cheikh Anta Diop University and Director of the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar. Most recently, he published "The Search for Takrur - Archaeological Excavations and Reconnaissance along the Middle Senegal Valley" with Roderick Mcintosh and Susan Keech Mcintosh (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017).

The event "Le Langage des Objects" at the Musée Théodore Monod in Dakar brings together artists and experts from different disciplines to discuss the identities of objects and their inherent knowledge. During a three-week residency, artist Viyé Diba, together with artist Caroline Gueye, enters into a dialogue with the objects in the collection of the Musée Théodore Monod. In particular, he explores the question of how to re-establish the link between the objects and modern Senegalese society. The artists will present the works created during the residency and discuss with El Hadji Malick Ndiaye (art historian, curator Musée Théodore Monod), Hamady Bocoum (archaeologist, director of the Musée des Civilisations Noires), Mamarame Seck (linguist, curator at the musée historique de Gorée, IFAN, Ch. A. Diop, Dakar) and with the curators of the project TALKING OBJECTS Isabel Raabe and Mahret Ifeoma Kupka (Germany).

Prior to the event, Malick Ndiayé talked to the participants of the panel at Musée Theodore Monod.

The think tank, exhibition and event series TALKING OBJECTS LAB explores forms and practices of knowledge from the African continent and tests strategies of mediation and visualisation. The LAB accompanies the development of the TALKING OBJECTS ARCHIVE, a digital archive for decolonial knowledge production, which is scheduled to go online in 2024. The Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN Ch. A. Diop), to which the Musée Théodore Monod belongs, is a partner of the project in Senegal.

The event was supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

Conversation in French with English subtitles. Videography: Kerry Etola Viderot