17 April 2024

Zora Snake

Part of When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor

L’Opéra du Villageois

Starts 2:00 pm

Venue Navy Officers' Club, Venice


L’Opéra du Villageois draws from the timeless trope of the mask—all its semantic load in relation to the body and cosmogony as a medium of resistance. Beyond the confines of its objet d’art status, the mask emerges as an emblem of social constructs charged with heritage, resonating with the considerable debate of art restitution, questioning the colonial legacy and its impact on indigenous societies.

Through symbolic elements like the European Union flag, burial, and rituals involving gold and salt, the performance critiques the historical plunder of resources and the silent, enforced submission of colonised peoples. Celebrating the unyielding spirit of ancestors who, though silent, stood firm against colonial violence to ensure their soil and legacies survived, L’Opéra du Villageois cries out from the well of silence in today’s representations, voicing the struggles and resilience of past generations and asserting an existence too significant to remain stifled.

Zora Snake (born 1990, Cameroon), a promising figure on the African contemporary art scene, merges choreography with urban dance and hip-hop to engender unique artistic narratives. Founder of Compagnie Zora Snake and the MODAPERF festival, his work delves into Cameroon’s historical peripheries, moving beyond conventional frameworks to engage with both the streets and global stages.

Drawing from Bamiléké mythology, his performances serve as acts of resistance, visualising political conflicts through dance. In When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor, Snake’s L’Opéra du Villageois transcends conventional performance semantics, resonating with the exhibition’s focus on actions that challenge dominant discourses of war, patriarchy, and colonialism, underscoring silent yet potent solidarity.

April 17