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

Afropean Mimicry & Mockery Part II

Featuring theatre, performance, video, literature and music, the second edition of "Afropean Mimicry & Mockery" is dedicated to the relationship between Africa and Europe, particularly from an African perspective.

Part III - Festival of Afropean Arts

is seeking out modes of resistance and the subversive potential of mimicry, sheding a spotlight on counter-narratives.

TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries

In 2012, the Federal Cultural Foundation established the TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries.

More about the TURN Fund

Kick-off Weekend

The kick-off weekend presented performances, videos, photos, and talks that investigated the production of images and the representation of “Africa” and “Europe“ in various different ways.


Künstlerhaus Mousonturm

Waldschmidtstraße 4
60316 Frankfurt am Main (external link, opens in a new window)