News Brief
Photo still via YouTube.

Celebrated French-Mauritanian Filmmaker Med Hondo Has Passed Away

A founding father and trailblazer of African cinema died over the weekend in Paris at 82 years old.

Med Hondo, the award-winning French-Mauritanian actor and filmmaker known for his film Soleil O, passed away Saturday morning in Paris, IndieWire reports.

Born Abid Mohamed Medoun Hondo in Mauritania in 1936, his work contributed to the discourse of the continent's representation on the big screen—delving into the discrimination African migrants have faced in France, the tension colonialism has left between Africa and Europe and more.


He kickstarted his career as a stage actor after moving to France in the late 1950s and created Shango, an all-black troupe that toured France, performing plays written by known playwrights Aimé Césaire of Martinique and New Jersey's own Amiri Baraka. Hondo was also featured in French TV shows in the 1960s through the start of the 1970s.

Med Hondo (1995) by Gérard Courant - Cinématon #1780 youtu.be

Soleil O was Hondo's 1967 feature debut that received critical acclaim at Cannes as an inclusion in the festival's International Critics' Week in 1970. The black-and-white film tells the story of an African migrant worker who deals with a mental breakdown after facing racism in France. The film was Hondo's critique of the role France played during the colonial era on the continent.

Hondo was known to be the voiceover for the likes of Eddie Murphy and Morgan Freeman for the French release of their respective films later in his career. He produced Fatima, l'Algérienne de Dakar—his last film set in post-Algeria's battle for independence that follows a young woman's journey to track down the Senegalese army officer who raped and got her pregnant—in 2004.

IndieWire adds that Soleil O will be one of the four African films to be restored and re-released by Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation for the African Film Heritage Project—an initiative in partnership with the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers.

The pioneer of African cinema was 82 years old.

Read his full obituary from IndieWire here.

Popular
Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Listen to Sibusile Xaba‘s New Jazz Single 'Umdali'

Sibusile Xaba's single 'Umdali' featuring Naftali and Fakazile Nkosi comes ahead of Brownswood Recording's highly-anticipated contemporary jazz compilation album 'Indaba Is'.