portes et passages du retour


Between 1997-1999, Muhsana Ali, American-born visual artist and Secretaire Generale of Portes et Passages, initiated a two-year art exhibition project in Cote d'Ivoire entitled Portes et Passages du Retour. Focusing on the transatlantic slave route, her installation highlighted issues relating to history, alienation and dislocation. The installation was produced in collaboration with over 60 street youth in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and was initially presented in the abandoned building they lived in, an old hospital. Muhsana’s work with the street youth (who served as exhibiting artists, maintenance, tour guides and security for her exhibition), motivated her to both better comprehend the importance of rural development verses urban, also served as a catapult for a change of direction in her art which progressed from primarily studio work, to community based work. In 2000, she founded a U.S.-based non profit, Doors and Passageways of Return Foundation with the purpose of creating a rural art center in Cote d’Ivoire. In 2005 on-going political instability in C.I., led her to co-found, with artist Amadou Kane Sy a sister-association, Portes et Passages du Retour, in Senegal, where she now resides. See her CV.

en francais / design Anne Merlin