Ari Gautier and Ananya Jahanara Kabir in conversation with Madame Jocelyne Beroard of KASSAV’ and Dr Bonaventure Ndikung of SAVVY Contemporary.
In May 2020 Ari Gautier, author, Oslo, and Ananya Jahanara Kabir, Professor, King’s College London, co-founded Le thinnai Kreyol, a multi-lingual online cultural platform that promotes their vision for a plural and creolised India. Through a praxis of collaboration, resistance and solidarity that takes inspiration from creolisation itself, le thinai Kreyol decolonizes structures of knowledge and ensures its non-hierarchical dissemination beyond academic audiences— an agenda shared with Atelier KITLV.
Since its launch, Le thinnai kreyol has programmed three seasons of curated conversations (‘katcheris’) with guests and improvised sessions between the co-founders, livestreaming them from le thinnai kreyol Facebook page and YouTube channel; this event will additionally be livestreamed from the KITLV Facebook page. Guests have included author Alain Mabanckou, critic Ato Quayson, restaurateur Asma Khan, artist Naiza Khan, choreographer Shailesh Bahoran, and percussionist Prabhu Édouard. Le thinnai kreyol is now thrilled to collaborate with Atelier KITLV on a spectacular start to its fourth season: a katcheri with Jocelyne Beroard and Bonaventure Ndikung. The theme, ‘Zouk is medicine’ pays homage to the classic zouk anthem by Kassav’ which announced a sonic and kinetic decolonization across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean worlds.
Within one year of existence, le thinnai kreyol has several thousand followers tuning in from every time zone for their live sessions. Join ‘zouk is medicine’ on the 7th May to experience their unique vibe.
Ari Gautier is a French novelist from Pondicherry of Indo-Malagasy origin, based in Oslo. He writes historical fiction about Pondicherry’s place in the world, and works at Melahuset, Norway, an institution promoting art and culture from the Global South.
Ananya Jahanara Kabir is Professor of English Literature, the Department of English, King’s College London, and winner of India’s Infosys Prize for the Humanities (2018), and of the Humboldt Research Prize from the Alexander van Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2019). She currently works on creolisation as a historical process and cultural theory.
Jocelyne Beroard (born Fort-de-France, Martinique) is female lead singer and lyricist of the legendary zouk band, Kassav’, who, since 1979, have promoted through their music the politics of creole resistance, a cultural activist for the memory of enslavement, and an advocate for injured and disabled children. She calls herself a “Militante pour le devoir de mémoire” (activist for the duty of remembrance).
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born in Yaoundé, Cameroon) is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and the artistic director of sonsbeek20–24, Netherlands. He has been curator at Documenta 14; Dak’Art Biennale; Bamako Encounters Photography biennal; the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; and is guest professor at academic programmes worldwide.