still of Xaraasi Xanne – Crossing Voices (work in progress)
stills for Xaraasi Xanne – Crossing Voices (work in progress)
Lavinia Wouters
Lavinia Wouters
Lavinia Wouters
Lavinia Wouters

Film, 60’, 2015-2019 (work in progress)

For the Contour Biennale, Bouba Touré and Raphaël Grisey present the first rough cut of the film ‘Crossing Voices – Xaraasi Xanne’. Through rare cinematographic, photographic and sound archives, it tells the story of the exemplary adventure of Somankidi Coura. This is an agricultural cooperative founded in Mali in 1977 by West African migrant workers living in France, in the migrant worker housing spaces called foyers.

The history of the improbable utopia of a return to the homeland follows a tortuous path that reveals ecological issues and struggles on the African continent from the 1970s to this day. To tell this story, Bouba Touré, one of its principal actors, returns to the heart of his personal archives. They document peasant struggles in France and Mali as well as following the personal stories of migrant workers over many decades. Furthermore, the film is a story of transmission, kinship and cinematographic geographies. It is the story of Bouba Touré with filmmaker Raphaël Grisey, who became Bouba’s spiritual son, but it also chronicles Bouba’s relationship with militant filmmakers such as Sidney Sokhona, Safi Faye or Med Hondo. Throughout the film, voices come to accompany Bouba and bring forth the narrative of a forgotten memory leading towards the future.


After the premiere on Saturday October 19th the artists will be in a conversation with Omar Ba, a historian, activist and consultant on diversity policies, inclusion and diasporic transnational networks, who was for many years a representative of the European Network Against Racism coordination Belgium.

With the support of the Embassy of France in Belgium and the Institut Français.

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Raphaël Grisey & Bouba Touré
nona arts centre - old hall
Begijnenstraat 19
2800 Mechelen (B)