Village Ki-Yi M'Bock Center for Cultural Exchange

Michelle Mielly, PhD candidate, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

In 1985 the Cameroonian artist Werewere Liking founded the Village Ki-Yi M'Bock (signifying "ultimate knowledge" in Liking's native Bassa language) in the bustling capital of Côte d' Ivoire. Today the Ki-Yi is a co-operative "village" within the heart of Abidjan and home to some fifty-odd resident artists of diverse traditions, ages, and origins: dancers, actors, puppeteers, sculptors, painters, costume designers, sound and light technicians, and musicians, among others.

According to Gerly Ngo Njock, Werewere's daughter and the Village Ki-Yi's Communications Director,

It should be noted that Werewere-Liking's esthetic for the theatre is a mix of genres, and the marionnettes, or puppets, like other objects or things-including the projection of shadows or light-hold their own place within this esthetic along with the text, the songs, the instrumental music, and the movement of the entire group on stage.

For Werewere, the theatre is an art of assembly, a collective effort. Various elements coincide within this collectivity: the marvelous, the cohabitation or coexistence of different worlds, and many other things which make up the magic ingredients of the set and the characters on stage. The combination of these elements enables the public to travel in time and space with ease.

In this way, Werewere Liking offers us doses of wisdom to attract our attention on the multi-dimensionality of the world in which we live, giving us truly enjoyable or happy moments, but also pushing us to reflect on the complexity of the world or the dimension of it in which we exist and grow. An integral part of our world is made up of what we perceive only things not readily tangible, but nevertheless there before us.

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Contact Information

Village Ki-Yi Center for Cultural Exchange
Boulevard Mittérand, Carrefour Riviéra
Cité Universitaire
08 BP 21 CIDEX 02
Abidjan 08
C&ocirrc;te d'Ivoire-West Africa

Telephone: + (225)
Fax +(225)

email: [email protected]

Postcolonial Web Africa Werewere Liking

Last modified 26 September 2002