We are excited to be part of neuf-3 a public art project in Saint-Denis (Paris) 17 July until the end of summer 2021, curated by Riason Naidoo realised in collaboration with Le 6b and with the assistance of the Chevalme sisters
neuf 3 derives its name from the colloquial term used by locals to refer to the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. Known as France’s poorest suburb, it is also synonymous with its African community and home to artists such as LAMYNE M.
With wider concerns about economic inequality and living standards in Saint-Denis that has seen tensions rise and frustrations flare up in the past—as in the riots of 2005, which broadcast worldwide images of burning cars and buildings—unemployment and crime remain higher than France’s average, which also highlights the disparity and marginalization of Paris’ African minorities.
Even during the 2020 confinement period in Paris, Saint-Denis was in the news for the disproportionate police violence against its citizens. In April 2020 France 24 reported that “a study by France’s National Centre for Scientific Research has shown that Blacks are 11,5 times more likely to be checked by police than whites, and those of Arab origin are 7 times more likely.”
A socially engaged public art project in Saint-Denis, neuf 3 involves contemporary African artists—from the suburb, France and from the African continent—who reflect on African experiences, memories, identities and concerns via expressions in photography, printmaking, painting and mixed media, expressed through street art and performance.
The artistic interventions take place on the streets, public squares, around the train and tram stations, among other, and speak directly to the African citizens living in this neighbourhood, most of whom are not regular visitors to Paris’ elite museums and galleries. The initiative is focused on African artists and communities, inspired by the specificity of Saint-Denis and its social and political concerns.
neuf 3 is inspired by a project Naidoo curated in Cape Town in 2016, entitled Any Given Sunday, which took place in the city and its townships addressing the city’s Black majorities. The proposal is in line with the artistic values of 6b: promoting art in Saint-Denis and opening up to its inhabitants.
Participating artists: LAMYNE M (Cameroon/ Saint-Denis, France), Dalila Dalléas Bouzar (Algeria / France), Jelili Atiku (Nigeria), Samuel Fosso (Central African Republic), Mary Sibande (South Africa), François-Xavier Gbré (France/ Ivory Coast), Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (Zimbabwe/ UK), William Kentridge (South Africa), Lebohang Kganye (South Africa), Cheikh Ndiaye (Senegal / USA), Senzeni Marasela (South Africa), Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon/ France), les sœurs Chevalme (Saint-Denis, France).