Friday, November 18, 2016




In his speech on the occasion of the official opening of Dak'Art, the Biennale of Contemporary African Art 2016, the President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall - according to the constitution of Senegal the "Protector of Arts, Letters and Artists " – had made a vibrant and well-deserved speech in honor of the reknown artist Issa Samb, aka Jo Ouakam, founding member of Laboratoire Agit Art.

The workshop of the Laboratoire Agit-Art is located in the heart of Dakar-Plateau, at Rue Jules Ferry No 17. Since more than forty years this space is permanently animated by Issa Samb, aka Jo Ouakam, and has become a privileged destination of artists, intellectuals, researchers, PhD students, the media, and museums worldwide.

Recently, the Dakar Biennale 2016 invited the public in its official program to this site. Many attended the ‘Midnight Congress’, convened by the Laboratoire Agit-Art. A memorable multi-dimensional and multi-media exhibition was opened in presence of the curator of the Dakar Biennale 2016, Simon Njami, and closed with a concert by musician Souleymane Faye.

A magical, even mystical place, unique and irreplaceable, not only because of the historical memory and the cultural heritage it embodies, but also because of its luxurious and exceptional vegetation which makes it an incomparable ecosystem in the midst of an urban crisis.
It is indisputable that this site at Rue Jules Ferry No.17 constitutes an important ecological and artistic lung that contributes to the health of the inhabitants of Dakar as well as its cultural presence, to the promotion of Senegal as a destination, and the strengthening of the presence of Africa in the discourse, practice and history of contemporary art.

Is it not paradoxical, indeed scandalous, that six months after the opening of 'Midnight Congress' at Rue Jules Ferry No.17, a flagship event of the Biennale of Dakar 2016, Issa Samb, the master of the site, is threatened to be evicted by a developer, on the ground that he would be an occupant without right or title, after forty years of presence and uninterrupted dynamic animation of the site?

 Is it conceivable that the world-renowned Laboratoire Agit-Art, this avant-garde space of creation, experimentation, training, information, exchanges, performances, installations, etc, will be eradicated from the cultural map of Dakar? Is it acceptable that the precious vegetation, the mighty trees that have been present for ages on this mythical place suddenly disappear from the landscape of Dakar-Plateau?

As a reminder, Article L.41 of the Forest Code provides: "Anyone who cuts, tears, mutilates or otherwise damages any one or more trees or plants of local or exotic species classified as protected species shall be liable to a fine from 20,000 to 500,000 francs and imprisonment from one month to two years or one of these two penalties only, without prejudice to damages. "

To avoid the cultural, ecological and human disaster of the disappearance of the Atelier du Laboratoire Agit-Art for the benefit of private interests in speculation, as well as the forced eviction of Issa Samb, aka Joe Ouakam, it is desirable and urgent that the President of the Republic of Senegal, Protector of Arts, Letters and Artists, as well as the Mayor of Dakar, shall take the necessary legal measures to preserve the site of the Laboratoire Agit-Art.

Dakar, 16th of November 2016


Felwine Sarr, Ecrivain

Jerôme Cigara

Cheikha, Styliste

Mauro Petroni, Céramiste 

Sawalo Cissé, Architecte

Koyo Kouoh, Commissaire d’expositions

ThéréseTurpin Diatta, Galeriste

Mouhamadou Habib Sembéne, Artiste Designer

Daouda NDiaye, Artiste, Professeur d’Art

Maya Varichon

Hawa Ba

Madiaw NDiaye

Marie-Héléne Pereira, Galeriste

Dulcie Abraham Attass

Marinette Jeannerod

Iréne Gaouda

Baye René Gomis

Emmanuelle Andrianjafy

Mandione Laye Kébé

Ibrahima Thiaw

Alioune Mbaye

Laure Malecot, Journaliste culturel

Flora Mensah

Theo Petroni

Momath Diamé

Frédérique Binet

Ismael Thiam, Cinéaste

Mamadou Ly


Koly Anne

Maguette Traoré

Claire Lamarque

Amadou Moustapha Dieng

Idrissa Diallo

Bara Diokhané, Avocat, Artiste

Aboubacar Demba Cissokho, Journaliste

Oumy Diaw, Public Relations

Bassirou Sarr, Artiste

Issa Samba alias Jo Ouakam, Artiste

Boubacar Diallo, Entrepreneur

Babacar Louis Camara, Industriel

Bira Guéye, Journaliste

Zohra Diokhané, Etudiante

Lamine Gakou, Cadre d’Entreprise

Papa Samba Mboup, Ancien Ministre d'Etat

Ndiogou Ba, Entrepreneur

Wasis Diop, Auteur, Compositeur, Interprète

Adama Dieng, Assistant-Secrétaire Général de l'ONU

Ndongo Mbaye, Ecrivain

Oumar Sall, Producteur

Demba NDiaye, Conseiller Culturel

Ndongo Fall, Magistrat 

Katy Diop, Commerçante

Mamoudou Wone, Journaliste

Baye Ibrahima Diagne, Expert Management

Sabine Cessou, Journaliste

Charles Sané, Entrepreneur

Oumar Dieng,  Officier

Aziz Guile MBodj, Homme Politique

Mory Gueta Cissé, Directeur de Banque

Dr Assane Dia, Pediatre

Amadou Ba

Alioune Badars Dione

Alioune Diouf, Artist

Alpha, Artist

Mohamed Sy, Cineaste

Pierre Ahmet Ba, Anthropologue

Samba Diop, Professeur

Meissa Gaye, Artist

Rose Séne, Styliste

Beb Diogaye Beye, Cinéaste

Bouna Medoune Seye, Photographe

Babacar Gaye, Homme Politique

Dasha Nicoué, Styliste

Melanie Romiguère, commissaire d’art Hamburger Bahnhof, Musée National d’art Moderne de Berlin, Allemagne
Olivier Guesselé-Garai, artiste, France / Allemagne
Antje Majewski, Artiste, Professeur d’Art, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, Allemagne
Clémentine Deliss, commissaire d’art et theoreticien, Allemagne
Aleksandra Jalas, commissaire d’art, Museum of Art, Lodz, Pologne
Zorka Wollny, artiste, Professeur d’Art, Art Academy Stettin, Pologne
Janina Wollny, traductrice, Pologne
Roza Wollny, ethnographe, Pologne
Mariusz Wollny, ethnographe et écrivain, Pologne
Zuzanna Wollny,  illustratrice, Pologne
Dr. Michaela Sieh, médecin, Belgium
Svetlana Grigorieva, étudiante d’art, Allemagne
Irène Lichtenstein, réalisatrice, Suisse
Anja Kraus, Professeur de pégagogie, Suède
Assaf Gruber, artiste, Israel
Elena Agudio, commissaire d’art, Savvy Contemporary, Allemagne
Bianca Benenti, artiste, Espagne
Melissa Steckbauer, artiste, U.S.A./ Allemagne
Dorothea Jendricke, commissaire d’art, NAK. Neuer Aachener Kunstverein Allemagne
Denise Araouzou, actrice, Bresil
Solmaz Shahbazi, artiste, Allemagne
David Krippendorf, artiste, Allemagne
Susanne Schuda, artiste, Allemagne
Kathrin Höhne, artiste, Allemagne
Delia Gonzalez, artiste, U.S.A.
Eva Wilson, artiste, Allemagne
Beba Fink, artiste, Austria
Mathilde Rosier, artiste, France
Nina Franz, artiste, Allemagne
Fiona Siegenthaler, ethnologe, Suisse
Alfred J.Pischel, artiste, Allemagne
Elvira Bäfverfeldt Marklund, artiste, Suède /Allemagne
Mareike Dittmer, éditrice du magazine d’art Frieze, Allemagne
Hannah Hurtzig, artiste et directeur des performances, Allemagne
Jan Molzberger, jardinier / artiste, Allemagne
Ava Felgendreher, art director, U.S.A.
Manuel Wischnewski, commissaire d’art Neue Berliner Räume, Allemagne
Lena Inken Schaefer, artiste, Allemagne
Ofri Lapid, artiste, Israel
Philipp Eckardt, Professeur de Litérature, Allemagne / Angleterre
Karl Holmquist, artiste, Allemagne
Elizabeth Cortiñas Hidalgo, artiste, Gran Canaria
Ioana Mitrea, artiste, Romania
Martin Heller, juriste, Allemagne
Vangjush Vellahu, artiste, Albania
Betti Scholz, artiste, Allemagne
Til Obladen, cinéaste, Allemagne
Karen Cunningham, artiste, UK
Ingrid Klenk, Berlin
Antonia Majaca, historienne d’art et commissaire d’art, Professeur á Graz University of Technology, Suisse
Lynhan Balatbat Helbock, theorticienne d’art, U.K. / Allemagne
Deborah Anne Bowen, artiste, U.S. / Allemagne
Annika Putz, artiste, Allemagne
Delphine Cosset, artiste, France
Bettina Hutschek, artiste, Allemagne
Elke Naters, écrivaine, Allemagne
Alyssa De Luccia, artiste, U.S.A. / Allemagne
Tatjana Günthner, éditrice, Sternberg Press, Allemagne
Mariechen Danz, artiste, Irlande / Allemagne
Veronika Gerhard , artiste, Allemagne
Anna Bromley, artiste et theoreticienne, Allemagne
Jacob Wren, écrivain, Canada
Here Derek, artiste, Israel
Raimar Stange, critique d’art, Allemagne
Caryl Ivrisse – Crochemar, Directeur de 14n61w, Martinique
Joasia Świerczynska, artiste, Pologne
Kirsi Mikkola, artiste, Finlande / Allemagne
Jesús Cruzvillegas, écrivain, Mexico
Juan Blanco, artiste, Columbia
Atina Airam Biel, artiste, Allemagne
Ash Moniz, artiste, Egypte
Jackie Thomae, écrivaine, Allemagne
Didem Yazıcı, artiste, Allemagne
Ewa Alicja Majewska, philosophe, Pologne
Andreas Schlaegel, critique et commisaire d’art, Allemagne
Loïc Quentin, France
Irène Lichtenstein, cinéaste, France
Christina Werner, Allemagne
Christoph Geyer, activiste, Allemagne
Claire Baudouin, France
Jacqueline Baudouin, France
Patrice Baudouin, France
Danny Simmons, Artist, Rush Arts Foundation, USA
Lorenzo Pace, Artist, Professor, University of Texas, USA
Peter Wayne Lewis, Artist, Professor at Massaachussets College of A rt, USA
Chester Higgins, Photographer, USA
Skate Gallery, New York, USA
Seneca Turner, Writer, New York, USA
Tafa, Painter, New York, USA
Kisito Diéne, Sweden
Ibou Ndoye, Artist, USA
Lawrence Terry, Artist, New York, USA
Autumn Ahn, Artist, USA
Steve Cannon,Writer, New York, USA
Ahda Ahn, Artist, New Orleans, USA
Khadda Madani,Artist, Berlin, Germany
Hans-Geord Tillmann,Rechtanswalt, Germany
Gale Elston, Attorney at Law,  New York, USA
Dudley Vacciana, Artist, New York, USA
Sandra Edmund, Legal, Time Warner
Kehinde Wiley, Artist, N York, USA
Anders Knuttsson, Artist, New York, USA
Tafa,A artist, New York, USA
Charlotte Ka, Artist, USA
Lezlie Harrisson, Singer, USA
Celeste Douglass, Brooklyn, USA
Lawrence Terry, Artist, Harlem, USA
Philippe Dollo, Photographer, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Toni Scott, Sculptor, Los Angeles, USA
Tanisha Griffith, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Sheila Ennis, Photographer, USA
Renee Cox, Photographer, USA
Dante, Photographer, USA
Pierre Thiam, Chef, USA
Jean Pierre NDiaye, Sociologue, France
Lamine Sagna, Sociologue, France
Autumn Ahn, Artist, USA
Pr Earl Davis, New York, USA