Exploring Art, History, and Digital Engagement: MANIFEST & Nantes Digital Week 2023
In a dynamic fusion of art, history, and technology, the festival took place in the picturesque city of Nantes and offered the opportunity that left attendees both enlightened and inspired. Held from 14 to 24 of September, this event brought together organisations like Maison de l’Europe, MANIFEST, Les Anneaux de la Mémoire, and Nantes Digital Week itself, forging a collaborative atmosphere that paved the way for thought-provoking discussions and cultural exploration. On 20 and 21 of September, MANIFEST took part in it according to the collaboration and inspiration atmosphere promoted.
20 of September: A Glimpse into MANIFEST and the World of Art
MANIFEST, which boasts the involvement of exceptionally talented artists, set the stage for a riveting exploration of art’s role in engaging people and the evolving landscape of communication and media.
The panel discussion, titled “Les Arts Numérique,” delved deep into the material and artistic facets of the MANIFEST project. Engaging students and attendees alike, this interactive session unearthed historical aspects and established connections with the artists involved: Magalie Mobetie and Collectif on à Slamé Sur La Lune, formed by Fred Ebami, Calvin Yug, and Albert Morisseau Leroy dit Manalone. It highlighted the remarkable ability of these artists to captivate audiences in profound and meaningful ways, redefining the boundaries of contemporary art.
As the day progressed into the evening, the event shifted its focus to “Art, Histoire & Numérique.” Hosted at La Maison de l’Europe, this session welcomed a diverse and engaged public. Here, the artists provided valuable insights into their previous works and what drives their creative spirit. Attendees gained a firsthand glimpse into the intricacies of artistic expression and the profound inspirations that fuel the creative process.
21 of September: Nantes, History, and Critical Discourse
During the second day of participating, there was a shift in focus, inviting all the participants to explore the historical significance of Nantes and its connection to the transatlantic trade of enslaved people. Was embarked on a journey through the city, uncovering the hidden narratives and historical places that bore witness to this dark chapter in history. The tour culminated in a visit to the “Memorial de l’abolition”, serving as a sobering reminder of the past.
Following the historical tour, the event transitioned into a critical discussion centred on museums dedicated to the history of the transatlantic enslaved people trade. Attendees engaged in thoughtful discourse surrounding themes like decolonization of the mind, the presentation of history, and effective public mediation. The event concluded with a visit to the exhibition “Expressions decoloniale(s)”, featuring the works of artist Barthelemy Togo. The exhibition intertwined historical narratives with contemporary expressions, challenging visitors to contemplate the enduring legacies of colonialism and its impact on society today.
In conclusion, this festival transcended the boundaries of a conventional event. By bringing together artists, historians, and the public, this event highlighted the potential of art and digital engagement in addressing complex societal issues, while also fostering a deeper appreciation for the rich history of Nantes and its enduring impact on the world. The festival was not just an event: it was an immersive experience that left an indelible mark on all who participated.