FONN KÈR SI LA MÈR, performance
On Reunion Island, what strikes you here are its natural landscapes: volcanoes, mountains, circuses, rivers, ravines, coasts that are intensely and constantly eroding. And if you listen, you can hear the voices of men, women and children speaking French, Malagasy, Swahili, Chinese, Urdu and creole. As a bridge, the Creole language creates the link between these peoples who want to live together from the depths of the history of colonisation and slavery. Yasmine Attoumane with ‘Fonn kèr si la mèr* (deep in my heart and soul about the sea) offers for you to listen to sound extracts of Malagasy and Reunion lullabies of the project Inaudible bottles as well as a poetic reading on the concept of ‘mooring’ inspired by the work of Françoise Vergès and Carpanin Marimoutou. *FONN KÈR is another form of poetry, which means ‘what i have deep in my heart and soul’, and the word SI LA MÈR is polysemic: about the mother or on the sea, Yasmine Attoumane is a visual artist who was born in Reunion Island. Drawing inspiration from the Rivière des Galets, on the banks of which she lives, Attoumane carries out in situ experiments along shorelines and riverbeds, delineating the unstable and fluctuating natural sites by markings or transitory installations. She touches upon its borders, our interaction with and a sense of belonging towards these precarious territories. The question of belonging to a territory, inhabit, the border, the positioning and the encounter with these precarious territories have become artistic, political and social questions. In the White Pebble Yasmine takes over a space of 1m2 situated in a riverbed by fitting a custom made ceramic surface on a rock and the sandy soil, as a metaphor of institutional management of landscape. Parallel to this, she is developing Aufil de l’eau (Along the water), a project around rivers and cities such as Bestiboka, Mahajunga – La Seine, Paris – Maas, Maastricht, which can take different forms to reflect her relationship and practice, ranging from action-performances, installations to photographic work or objects. Attoumane has been selected as the first participant in the residency programme jointly set up by the Jan van Eyck Academie and the Institut Français des Pays-Bas.
Extract from the poem Fonn Kèr si la Mèr
FONN KÈR SI LA MÈR
The Ocean is my goddess
The Ocean is my sadness
With every tidal wave,
It brings me my mothers from different nations.
Mothers who fill me with the fragrance of their shadow.
My body boat,
My coloured body
Ironwood, softwood, drywood
My inaudible body,
My angry body
Home wood, spicewood, sandalwood, My body love
My strong body
Uprooted wood, deep-rooted wood, rooted wood
In the belly of the ocean shines life, shimmers death.
Salt of the stars, salt of the shepherd
In the belly of the ocean shines my spirit and the wandering souls moored in a single heart to the lands and times.
The tide rises, it is there, moored to the shore;
It’s here at the edge of the worlds that everything is said: « my ancestors were Gauls ». I am not Gallic, I am a Batarsité, a blend of Africa, Asia, France, Europe. I have crossed more than one sea,
I am Yasmine from the DOM TOM*, I am ultra (non)Marine, ultra-Yasmine.
In my arms, I cradle my own African, Asian, French, European child, and today we carry together the flag of our Creole archipelagos.
#The sung part – in creole#
Dodo la minette (Sleep pretty baby)
zanfan de Jeannette (Jeannette’s child)
Si la minette y dodo pas (If the pretty baby doesn’t sleep)
Chat marron va souk a él (The brown cat will threaten you.)
#End of sung part – in creole#
The flag of our « batarsité », Danièl tells me
I fly, dance and my steps caress the foam cloud on the shore, the Alyzées whisper:
« Water has no enemy
And the tears of the cyclone always bring back the sun. »
I laugh at last with joy.