Xaraasi Xanne (Crossing Voices)
Using rare cinematic, photographic and sound archives, Crossing Voices recounts the exemplary adventure of Somankidi Coura, an agricultural cooperative created in Mali in 1977 by Western African immigrant workers living in workers’ residences in France. The story of this improbable, utopic return to the homeland follows a winding path that travels through the ecological challenges and conflicts on the African continent from the 1970s to the present day. Furthermore, the film is a story of transmission, kinship and cinematographic geographies. Using Bouba Touré's personal archives, the film also chronicles Bouba’s relationship with militant filmmakers such as Sidney Sokhona or Med Hondo. Over the course of the film, different voices enter the sound-scape to accompany Bouba Touré’s voice; they bring the tale of a forgotten memory toward a possible future sung by an electronic griot storyteller.
Raphaël Grisey lives and works in Berlin. Grisey uses video, editorial, and photographic works to assemble narratives about politics of memory, migration, and architecture. The book Where is Rosa L. (2001–2006), and the film National Motives (2011), study the ghosts of various political regimes in the public spaces of Berlin and Budapest. Through diverse documentary, fictional, or essayist forms, Grisey’s films and installations deal with neocolonial spatial politics, and decolonial storytelling and practices in agriculture and urban space (Trappes, Ville Nouvelle, 2003; Cooperative, 2008; and Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive 2015– in collaboration with Bouba Touré). He collaborated with Florence Lazar on the films Prvi Deo and Red Star (2006), which deal with post-war former Yugoslavia’s justice. Other film projects were made in France, amid students’ strikes (The Indians, 2011); in China, amid Míngōng peasant-workers (The Exchange of Perspectives, 2011); in the social housing complex of Pedregulho in Brazil (Minhocão, 2011), in the Brazilian Positivist Church in Rio de Janeiro (Amor e Progresso, 2014), and around maroon quilombola communities in Minas Gerais (Remanescentes; A Mina dos Vagalumes, 2015). Since 2019, various forms of his research and collaboration with Bouba Touré, Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive, have been presented in several countries.
Bouba Touré was born in Mali in 1948 and died in France in January 2022. Bouba Touré was a photographic researcher. He studied at Vincennes University and was a projectionist at Cinema 14 Juillet and L’entrepôt, Paris. Photographer since the 1970s, he documented the lives and struggles of migrant workers and peasants in France and Mali. Bouba Touré co-founded the Co-op of Somankidi Coura in 1977. In 2015, he published the book Notre case est à Saint Denis. Since the 1980s, Touré has exhibited works and given talks in associative and foyer’s circles and more recently in art institutions. Touré and Grisey worked together over fifteen years on collaborative projects under the current name of Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive. This collaboration led to various workshops, film and theatre production for example with the theatre group Kaddu Yaraax in 2017 and 2019, as well as publications and texts, such as Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive (2017, Archives Book).