With the dance performance Opéra du villageois, Zora Snake invites us to discover another world. In connection with the major debates about the return of cultural assets, he resurrects all of its strength and power within the "mask" in connection with the body and as a bearer of resistance.
“The history, the inside or the sacred belly of the mask is an 'object of art' in the museum, but it also represents the construct of an organized society burdened with a legacy. We are the continuity of this great reincarnation with its inexhaustible and cultural riches, long silent in the colonial apparatus.” Zora Snake
Zora Snake tells us about the hidden journey of the masks as private treasures, capitalist goods, looted art, and also about the whippings that the bodies of his ancestors endured. "The idea of resisting silence is also based on the silence of our ancestors, who remained mute, not for fear of speaking, but for fear of dying and letting the village perish," says Zora Snake. “Some of our independence fighters have spoken out against the violence of the colonial masters. It is the power of our quiet wealth that is awakened by the performances and screams. / Today, the beatings reveal the atrocities of a time when people used masks to heal, end wars, appease and forge new connections,” says the charismatic performer. "Once they have arrived in the museum, they are completely damaged and have lost their function in their society of origin through alienation from their original places."
With the flag of the European Union, a funeral, with a ritual centered around gold and salt, Zora Snake manifests the history of this looting of riches and the artistic diversity of this heritage that is still alive. He expressively strides through a sacred dimension in order to make the lines of this heated debate tangible performatively through the aesthetics of the body, the performance, the dance and the props. L‘Opéra du villageois pays homage to the inhabitants of the villages, long considered 'uncivilized', to awaken their strength and resistance. Starting from the sacred heritage of the ancestors, the performance is an attempt to respond to Aimé Césaire's text Poème à l'Afrique.
CONCEPT & PERFORMANCE Zora Snake | LIVE MUSIC Maddly Mendy Sylva | AUDIO SOUND Débats politiques | TEXTS Aimé Césaire, Titre A l'Afrique | VOICE Carolyne Cannella | INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC Bébé Wandja, Bamliléké | PRODUCTION Compagnie Zora Snake | SUPPORT FASO DANSE THEATER (Paris)
Zora Snake is a dancer, choreographer and performance artist, founder of the company Zora Snake and the international festival Modaperf in Cameroon. He travels internationally and mixes artistic creation in public space, performance and political-poetic ritual, art and society. The development of civil society through performances in the districts of Cameroon is particularly important to him. He has won numerous prizes and works with renowned artists, including Serge Aimé Coulibalys and Fabrice Murgia. He was a guest at the Cité Internationale des Arts, the Palais de Tokyo and the Center Beaubourg in Paris, among others. His Shadow Survivors production premiered in Nancy in 2023.
Zora Snake's residency in Cologne in the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Kulturen der Welt to develop the adaptation for Cologne is funded by the RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur.