„Afropean Mimicry & Mockery in Theatre, Performance & Visual Arts“ - Steven Cohen & Manuel Vason Collaboration / La Rochelle (c) Steven Cohen / Manuel Vason
Selina Thompson © Selina Thompson
Nelisiwe Xaba, Foto: Maurice Korbel
Dieudonné Niangouna, Foto: Armel Louzala

Afropean Mimicry & Mockery

Production and research platform - supported by the TURN Fund

... in Theatre, Performance & Visual Arts

Mimicry and mockery form a common thread which runs through centuries of African-European encounter. Appropriation and segregation, demonisation and exaggeration, affirmation and over-affirmation all have a long tradition in Europe and Africa. From the “cake walk” of slaves, which the colonial powers used to ridicule, to “black facing” in minstrel shows, from Jim Knopf to recent Disney movies, from Black Power, hip hop and hoodoo to Afropolitanism, Afropeanism and Afrofuturism. Mimicry and mockery are closely related and continue to influence cultural and artistic forms of expression and discourse with regard to European-African encounters.

“Afropean Mimicry & Mockery in Theatre, Performance & Visual Arts“ is a project headed by the Congolese director Dieudonné Diangouna together with Matthias Pees (general director of the  Mousonturm) and curator Martin Baasch. Together with African and European artists and scholars from the fields of theatre, performance and fine arts, they will embark on a three-year artistic and theoretical research endeavour to investigate the subject. What attributes and images of both continents do artists find interesting nowadays? What kind of aesthetics, forms and working methods do they feel obliged to use? At the beginning of the 21th century, where are the flashpoints of artistic and political debate which claims to be de-colonial, colour blind, diasporic and transcultural? Under the aegis of the Mousonturm Frankfurt, the project will be supported by a cooperation network which includes the Théâtre de Vidy Lausanne (CH), the lagos_live Festival (NG) and the Festival Mantsina in Brazzaville (CG).

In addition to collaborating with the Congolese Dieudonné Niangouna as an “artiste associé” of the Mousonsturm, the project also plans to organise four artist-in-residence productions in Frankfurt, Lausanne, Lagos and Brazzaville. Another two international co-productions by Dieudonné Niangouna are planned with performances in all four partner theatres. The project also includes two theoretical-artistic laboratory and discussion series in Frankfurt with satellite events in Lausanne, Lagos and Brazzaville, and a compilation of the results presented during a performance and art festival at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt.

Artistic director: Dieudonné Niangouna (CG)


Kick-off Weekend: 14. - 16.11.2014
March 2015: world premiere of “Le Kung Fu” by Dieudonné Niangouna
28.10. - 1.11.2015: Afropean Mimicry and Mockery Part II with performances, discussions and the play "Le Socle des Vertiges" by Dieudonné Niangouna
December 2015: lagos_live Festival
April 2016 – March 2017: world premiere of the four artist-in-residence productions, guest performances, discussion and laboratory series
24.11. - 3.12.2016: "Festival of Afropean Arts" - Afropean Mimicry and Mockery Part III
February 2017: compilation of all the project parts, presented at a performance and art festival at the Mousonturm, world premiere of the second co-production