Video Still: Christian Nyampeta, Sometimes It Was Beautiful, 2018. Video (single channel, color, sound); 37’43”. Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm. 


École du soir

Another Knowledge Is Possible IV

    • -
  • Galleries


Convened by artist Christian Nyampeta, École du soir (The Evening School) is a multiform hosting structure for collective feeling, cooperative thinking, and mutual action for "thinking Africa" and the study of an urgent question that is planetary in scope: how do we live together?

As an evening school, it draws from writer and filmmaker Sembène Ousmane’s idea of cinema as "cours du soir" or "evening classes," informed by the traditions of the spoken word, sensuality, and conviviality within the realm of art learning and making in his region.  Sembène viewed cinema as a popular information system in the service of education, aesthetic experience, and public dissemination. His methodology concerned the use of cinema’s collective production and investing in its viewing methods that drew from different uses of time, visual and textual histories, social struggles and hopes, in mutuality between his own locality and the world at large. 

As a "hosting structure," École du soir offers spaces for individual and shared study, making, movement, and reflection; exploring forms of knowledge in which language -- films and translation in particular -- plays a crucial role.  A cinema screens films that gather unlikely figures, across times and spaces, in fictional encounters to discuss social transformation, cultural property, and who has the right to representation and meaning.  A "scriptorium" assembles a working group of artists, activists, and scholars to translate a text by philosopher Souleyman Bachir Diagne, who proposed that "thinking Africa" is to think from language to language. 

Built through a series of inhabitable sculptural and functional prototypes, École du soir’s hosting structure creates a platform for activities such as film screenings, listening sessions, workshops, rehearsals, conversations, and serious play.  École du soir also hosts a repository of playlists and publications, as well as drawings, from past sessions held around the world.  Visitors are invited to engage with these playlists and publications, to watch a film, to join a workshop or scriptorium session, and to simply make use of the space on their own or together with others.

École du soir aims to make this translated knowledge available to all those who are interested in learning together about and celebrating the offerings given by new, ancestral, spoken, felt, and written African knowledges toward the making of linkages between the stories told about historical changes and cultural transformations and today's enduring challenges of how to live and learn together.

École du soir in Shanghai occasions an invaluable moment of cultural exchange: to connect lifeworlds, to host meaningful encounters, and to form communities of practice, through the planetary phenomenon of cinema, embodied translation, and intellectual promiscuity, that imagine new ways of sharing time and working together, and, in doing so, also living together. To make another knowledge possible. 


The exhibition
is accompanied by related events, including:

A Song About Love

  • Thursday, 7 March, 16–19:00 (17:00 screening)
  • Saturday, 11 May, 14–16:00 

To celebrate the opening of École du soir, the African Film Institute presents the Shanghai premiere of A Song About Love, a screening program of music videos. The offering will range from pioneering works in the genre as it relates to the African lifeworlds, traversing through its contemporary forms, and journeying into sonic cultures described from within and beyond Afrofuturism.  An additional screening is scheduled on 11 May.


  • Saturday, 16 March, 1518:00
  • Saturday, 13 April, 1315:00
  • Saturday, 1 June, 1518:00

For École du soir in Shanghai, Christian Nyampeta co-convenes a “scriptorium” working group with local collaborators CHEN Yining, HUANG Shiyun, CAO Shuyun, YANG Ziyu, and ZHAO Yiren to translate a text by Senegalese philosopher Souleyman Bachir Diagne into Chinese. The scriptorium experiments with “embodied translation” as an everyday experience that resonates with the lived realities of diverse communities. 

Provisional Artistic Studies

  • Saturday, 13 April, 15:30–18:30

Led by the Woodcut Wavement group, this workshop invites participants to collective artistic study and exchange of knowledge through discussion and the creation of individual and collaborative woodcut printmaking. 

African Ingenuity through Sustainability

  • Saturday, 20 April, 13–16:00

Led by Feza Kayungu Ramazani, workshop participants will learn from the recycling and upcycling methods of children in Lubumbashi who make their own toys using leftover materials found around mining dumps and factories.  

This exhibition and all related events are FREE and OPEN to the public. 

For further details and to register for events, please visit the event pages under Related programs below.


The exhibition and related events are presented as the fourth season of the ICA’s second artistic research program, Another Knowledge Is Possible (2021-24), exploring neglected and repressed ways of knowing and the complex politics of knowledge decolonization. 

École du soir is organized by Michelle Yeonho Hyun with BAO Yang and ZHU Sicong, and with additional support by ZHANG Yiying, YUAN Ruoxuan, LIN Siqi, CHEN Yindi, SHEN Jianing, WANG Muqing, YANG Xian, ZHANG Yuyang, and LI Zhuolin. 

Special thanks to Feza Kayungu Ramazani, Prodige Tumba Makonga, and LIU Mengjie for their generous contributions from far afield and to CHEN Yining, CAO Shuyun, HUANG Shiyun, YANG Ziyu, and ZHAO Yiren for their steadfast commitment on our shared ground.  Thanks to Tu Huyhn, Adrien Mbar Pouille, Yunis Rafiq, SHI Donglai, and SUN Yuzhou for their intellectual comity and encouragement. Thanks to SU Ziying for the translation.

Additional funding and support are provided by China-Africa Shanghai International Network (CASIN).  

Graphic Design by The Exercises



  • , 15:00-18:00
  • , 13:00-15:00
  • , 15:00-18:00
Galleries (1F & B1)


Whisper from the Skin

scroll to top