Read interview of Marion louisgrand, coordinator
A new space working in the field of arts and multimedia, Ker Thiossane officially opened its doors in September 2003, in a private villa in the Sicap Liberté II neighbourhood, Dakar.
The aim of Ker Thiossane is to dedicate itself to artists through the integration of multimedia in artistic practices (music, dance, theatre, and visual arts) and to all kinds of public in making culture, numeric creation through computer science, and new information and communication technologies available for everyone.
In this way, artists, and in particular young African artists who have difficulties in gaining access to new technologies, find help at Ker Thiossane in realising their projects, receive advice on concepts, training in creative software, initiation in network practices, help with the creation of websites, and can participate in thematic workshops.
A centre for training and initiation in multimedia, Ker Thiossane is also a centre for development of the social link, open to the local community, with priority given to women, young people and children, in a context where inequality continues and where the frontiers between the North and the South persist. Through a large range of activities, new technologies are thus used as tools of expression and creation, and also as tools for access to culture and knowledge.
Ker Thiossane sees itself as a permanent link with the exterior, and in particular with other cultural spaces abroad, and does so by having established a space for exchange in contemporary creation (exchange of artists, information, knowledge).
Moreover, in its capacity as the "African Antenna" of the international resource centre on new spaces for culture Artfactories, Ker Thiossane informs artists and also African project bearers on the cultural centres registered in the data base, about their activities (programming, residencies, seminars, meetings) and in this way can give advice and orientation.
Former use : private villa
Total surface of the site : 130 m2
Built in the 70’s, just after the Independence, in the colonial style, this villa has a huge courtyard of 70m2.
Location : between the Demba Diop Stadium and the Liberté cinema, in the heart of Sicap Liberté II, one of the first residential headquarters of Dakar, quiet, which has become, nowadays, popular.
Foundation year of the centre : 2002
Type of occupation : rent
Owner of the building : private
Infrastructures / Facilities
The former building was recently refurbished and transformed in order to become a public space.
multimedia space- documentation center
musical room (in project)
café with a courtyard
bedrooms for artists in residence
The multimedia space:
It is a public access room of 60 m2 which offers Internet connection and the discovery of cultural and artistic multimedia contents.
This multifunctional area can also host exhibitions, trainings, meetings, seminars, debates, and sometimes rehearsals.
From now, there are 5 network computers, with the DSL (256 ko/s), a scanner, a printer, a webcam, a graphic palette, a camera and a digital video camera.
You will find a computer, a television and a video- recorder specially reserved for the documentation and the consultation of books, Cdroms concerning the artistic creation and the new technologies, but also the cultural sector in Senegal and abroad (information about artistic networks, residential programmes, festivals, biennales...), in general.
This space is animated by a professional multimedia organizer, who guides, advises and initiates the users.
The musical room:
Back Line renting: with technical assistance by a professional sound engineer for outside events (concerts, meetings, ceremonies, parties...).
This equipment can be used in order to enhance artistic projects (sound mixing, guitar amplifier, a bass, microphones, drums, electronic guitar, lights, stage...).
Rehearsal studio: in 2004, for professional and non professional musicians at a very interesting price.
Artists, neighbours, foreigners can have a drink or something to eat in a quiet and friendly place.
Concerts, performances may be organized.
Rooms for artistes in residence: Kër Thiossane has a flat for the artists or the public (single or double bedrooms+ shower+ WC).
Social and artistic disciplines
Multidisciplinary, Kër Thiossane wishes to offerto african artists the opportunity to have access to creative software in the field of visual arts, dance, music, theatre.
Multimedia trainings: opened for everyone (financial participation accessible to everyone), those short trainings will help the public to be initiated to the computer basis (microsoft word, Internet, e-mail, Web...).
Special trainings will be organized for the youth, for associations, for women and for children in collaboration with schools, libraries, social organisms.
Thematic and educational workshops: educational workshops have already been proposed (cf archives). Led by professionals, those workshops develop an artistic accuracy, a sharing of knowledge.
Mission: to reveal computers and software to the African artists, according to an artistic project (photography, video, sculpture, dance, music...).
Those workshops are free and mainly reserved for beginners. The number of participants is limited. In 2004, they will open to a wider public, as for instance the children.
Artists facilitation and documentation/information center: few days a week, the cyber space is reserved for artists (accompaniement for production,creation, software, networks, creation of a website...). A more professional facilitation will be proposed to innovative artists.
A reference library (books, magazines, videos, Cdroms about digital arts and cultural sector...) is available.
Residencies: for African and international artists about African digital creation. While in residencies, artists will develop collaborations with local artists (sharing, meetings with various cultures).
At the end of the residence, the artist will present its work during a special event.
The Daniel Langlois Foundation (for Art and Science on the general project).
The AFAA and the Regional Council of Seine St Denis (for a workshop of interactive dance: sept 2003)
The Sonatel Foundation (for the making of a project with children).
It is open to international collaborations; important partners are already established between Kër Thiossane and cultural structures such as Mains d’Oeuvres, Arslonga, "the Webtrotteurs des quartiers" network. Kër Thiossane is also the African contact of Artfactories.