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Christian Nyampeta presents "Ecole du Soir" at Night of Philosophy & Ideas

© Niels Molenaar - Christian Nyampeta

On February 1, Christian Nyampeta, an Rwandan artist who works with art, design and theory, will present his on going project "Ecole du Soir" during the Night of Philosophy & Ideas in Brooklyn.

École du soir (The Evening Academy) is a polyformal hosting structure for collective thinking, action and reflection convened by artist Christian Nyampeta. It expands upon the idea of Senegalese film director and novelist Sembène Ousmane, who considered cinema as the evening school. The iteration at the Brooklyn Public Library is a continuation of the recent public program and exhibition held at SculptureCenter in New York.

Visitors of the Night of Philosophy and Ideas are invited to join Nyampeta and his guests—translator, writer and curator Omar Berrada, and anthropologist Natacha Nsabimana—and to participate in a French-to-English translation and interpretation workshop, making an urgent montage of texts about ecologies, education and economy by Rwandan philosopher Isaïe Nzeyimana available in English for the first time.

The modular staging of École du soir at the Brooklyn Public Library includes the screening of film recordings of ongoing conversations held between Nyampeta, philosopher Isaïe Nzeyimana and fellow artists, philosophers and theorists, centering the question of how to live together. Finally, the installation also includes a dossier of new, current, and past sessions, as well as the documentation of selected artworks conceived within and beyond École du soir; alongside writing, conversations and interviews that bring into a speculative dialog a community of colleagues, friends and teachers, including Ima Abasi-Okon, Aïcha Diallo, Kodwo Eshun, Saidiya V. Hartman, Sohrab Mohebbi and Yolande van der Heide.

Christian Nyampeta works in art, design, and theory. His practice includes the assembly of a roaming program of exhibitions, screenings and lyrical performances concerned with the question of how to live together by exploring the ideas of monument and translation. His latest projects include École du soir at SculptureCenter, New York in 2019. He completed a PhD Thesis at the Visual Cultures Department of Goldsmiths, University of London, he was awarded The Art Prize Future of Europe 2019 and the European Union Prize at the 12th Bamako Encounters – African Biennial of Photography in 2019.

Omar Berrada is a writer and curator and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn a library and artists residency in Marrakech. His work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. Currently living in New York he teaches at The Cooper Union where he co-organizes the IDS Lecture Series. 

Natacha Nsabimana is a socio-cultural anthropologist working as at the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching interests include law and subjectivity, postcolonial critique, musical movements and the cultural and political worlds of African peoples on the continent and the diaspora.

A Night of Philosophy & Ideas, the global series of intellectual marathons, coordinated worldwide by the Institut français, will take place this year at more than 120 locations around the world between January 25 and February 2. The events will unite around this year’s central theme: "Being Alive / Être vivant", exploring humanity’s relationship with the world and other species.

The Night of Philosophy & Ideas is co-presented by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.