Thursday, August 10, 2017



If Trees Could Talk is a 43 min documentary about Senegalese painter, sculptor, poet, playwright, philosopher, actor, art critic Issa Samb aka Jo Ouakam.
Issa Samb started his artistic journey in 1970, a couple of years after he got arrested and beaten by the Senegalese police forces during the 1968 student riots in Dakar. He advocated then, the theories of the International Situationist movement.
In 1974 he co-founded Laboratoire Agit-Art , The seminal art collective that had kept  an alternative artistic expression relevant in Senegal, with filmmaker Djibril Mambeti DIop, playwright Youssoupha John. journalist Mame Less Dia , etc.
An enigmatic and recognizable feature of  city of Dakar, his nickname Ouakam refers to the name of his native neighborhood .
In 1992, he made his acting debut in "Hyenas" , directed by Djibril Mambeti Diop, the first Senegalese film to be nominated at a Cannes Film festival official selection.
In 2012 he was selected at the prestigious  Documenta Kassel.
Samb comments that his work lies" at the border of fiction and imagination, and "therefore is beyond reality", in this documentary. The director, Bara Diokhané, Samb's close friend, began filming in 2010 and recorded the prolific artist's performances for seven years, capturing the thought and process that go into the creations of one Africa's greatest gifts to arts and humanities, while also reflecting on the history of art, the environment and the culture.
The release of If Trees Could Talk marks the 4th month since the 72 year old African art Shaman passed away.