Roxane Mbanga (b.1996, Paris)
is a Guadeloupian-Cameroonian-French multidisciplinary artist, currently based in Amsterdam. Working at the junction of fashion, film, graphic design, photography, writing, and performance, Mbanga is a storyteller. Through her installations, she highlights the perception of the self. Naked, covered with facial jewelries, embodied by objects, in movement on the crowded streets of Lagos, dressed to reveal the strength or staying still in the silence of oppression, the body speaks. Between invisibilization and hypervisibilization, she questions the place of black women in public spaces and offers the audience tools for reflection on this matter.
NOIRE.S, a personal and political diary, tells the story of Black French women of today through the lens of intersectionality. The book has been designed by Chloé Delchini.
Naked, covered by facial jewellery, embodied by objects, in movement on the crowded streets of Lagos, dressed to reveal strength or staying still in the silence of oppression; the body speaks.
I am a storyteller, a multimedia artist fascinated by the socio-political black female body. Between invisibilization and hypervisibilization, I question the place of black women in western public spaces and offer the audience tools for reflection on this matter.
I aim to challenge the prejudices of the viewers and highlight black female bodies through installations. I pass on the untold stories, the ones of my grandmothers, my mother, my aunties and all my sisters. I reclaim our hidden history, our stolen identities, our hurting bodies in order to heal properly.
Hybrid, my work comes to life through roaming multimedia installations. Videos, photographs, prints, textiles, sounds, clothes, performances and sculptures, these collaborative works connect with each other to build my imaginary home. Because of my mixed origins, « home » never has been a fixed place, but rather the place where my soul and flesh synchronise. My narratives always find their origin in the remembrance of these many places I call home. Traversing boarders, my work links different cultures. A unique mix of bright and bold colours, innocent and fluid lines in which dreams overlap reality and where black women eventually find their way to the centre.
NOIRES is an immersive installation to experience as a multimedia conversation that combines a book, videos, sound, tapestries, sculptures and prints.
NOIRES became possible thanks to the collaboration of a total of thirteen women based between Brussels, Dakar, Lagos, London and Paris.
NOIRES aims to enrich the collective imaginaries by providing tools to reflect on the place of black women in the public spaces.
NOIRES serves as a stage to host a series of public programs.
NOIRES is a roaming exhibition.
Maboula Soumahoro, French English specialist of Ivorian origin, perfectly illustrates the NOIRES project with her words, in an interview given to Mediapart, in June 2020. She said: “Black women are seen as interchangeable, equivalent."
« Take off your shoes. Walk on the paving stones. Your steps are guided by a vulnerable yet strong poem reading. The smell of Senegalese incense brings you warmth. Wind is coming from the rotating fan, caressing your skin. The braid curtains and the Boubous danse at its rhythm. Silence. Video-collages and Super8 moving images start playing on the TV. Following the sound, you arrive in the center. You are now walking on hair woven tapestries. Analog photographs, textile, silkscreen and risograph prints are nailed on the red wall in front of you. Take a sit.
You are in my home. »
A huge thank you to:
My sisters Chinwe, Fatou Kine, Itunu, Mati, Osime, Tabara, Yadi for trusting me and following me on the Naked Underneath Journey, Lisa, Michèle, Ségolène and Christina, Godelieve, Nadia and Sena for revealing yourselves with me through your interviews in the book NOIRE.S and during the NOIRE.S talks.
My talented collaborators César, Chloé, Kwesi, Laetitzia, Pap Musa and Rachel for the quality of your work.
My external thesis advisor Tracian for coaching me and guiding me throughout the writing of NOIRE.S.
My proof readers Madeleine, Michael, Nathalie and Roger for your readings and corrections.
My adviser Emirhan for your enlightening ideas.
My teachers Eduardo, Mo, Niels, Oscar and Philipp for your advice and support.
My amazing helpers Amanda, Elisabeth, Emma, Enzo, Gosha, Oliver, Karozene, Katya, Montaine, Nezhla, Noemie, Sali, Sasa, Sophie, Souheila for your hands, your patience and your encouragements.
My dear friends Bubu, Imann, Jade, Juliette, Lauren, Marguerite, Marie-Yemta, Sasa, and Théo for your suggestions, your time and your support.
My generous contributors: Alba, Alexander, Anne, Annick, Arlette, Ayesha, Bekker la Bastide Fonds, Bonnie, Christophe, Danielle, Emilie, Emma-Lou, Erwan, Florence, Fred, Glauco 9-9, Henri, Ignas, Jangwa, Jean-Marc, Jonathan, Laetitzia, Léa, Loup, Luc, Lucas, M.C. de Visser Fonds, Mamadou, Manon, Manuelle, Marc, Marie, Marie, Maud, Maud, Mayis, Michelle, Michelle, Nathalie, Nazaire, Nicole, Papa Yorick, Papi et Mamie, Patrick, Paul, Pema, Pierre-Adrien, Quentin, Rachelle, Raphaëlle et Ulrich, Robin, Romain, Sarah, Ségolène, Swan, Théo, Théo, Terry, Thompson, Tilly, Valkan, Veronika, Yasmine, Youjine and Yves Henry for your financial support which gave life to the installation NOIRES. »
Thank you !