Beyond the Southern Grasslands 

We are honoured to welcome the artists Chantal Edie and Boris Anje in our first virtual residency project.

Beyond the Southern Grasslands is a collaborative research and visual archive project envisioned within the framework of a 3-month virtual residency programme hosted by SAVVY Contemporary with the Cameroonian artists and cultural workers Chantal Edie and Boris Anje. The project will support both artists in developing a platform both digital and physical, to further explore discourses around the on-going Southern Cameroon Anglophone crisis and its multidimensional impact on the Anglophone region which has left the country even more politically, socially and economically unstable. Thousands of locals from the Anglophone region are internally displaced or forced to migrate to neighbouring Nigeria and beyond, almost 3000 are imprisoned and over 10000 have died according to the limited international and censored local information sources.

Due to this on-going Southern Anglophone Cameroonian crisis and war, the welfare and livelihood of the people from this region have evidently been greatly affected and subsequently the practices of both artists invited to collaborate with SAVVY contemporary for this project are at great risk because of their critical views of the power systems and repressive mechanisms that have fueled the conflict between the Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians into a civil war. 

Chantal Edie NtubeAs one of few practicing female photographers, a cultural worker and an artist from the marginalized Southern Anglophone Cameroon, Chantal Edie’s experience and practice invites collective reflections on issues of social injustice, exclusion and marginalisation of minority groups.  After being forced herself to flee the Southern Cameroon city of Kumba to Douala, Chantal has managed to continue using her practice to reach out and educate the community, focusing on groups of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Douala. She is co-founder of the art space The Forest Creative Loft and initiator of the networking platform Women Who Brunch (WWB), a digital and physical platform created to discuss social issues and to uplift and empower the socially disadvantaged.  Both existing platforms have been working physically and digitally since 2017 with different groups in the community, especially IDPs and women and have built a participatory audience of over 700 people. .

Boris Anje Tabufor is a painter, an activist and an advocate for the people, using his creative work to mainly portray, challenge and document the trajectories of people from the marginalized Anglophone region. A central theme in his work is the idea of self-introspection to question happenings in society in an attempt to liberate oneself from negative experiences. Despite the crisis in the Anglophone region, Boris is based both in Bamenda and in Douala and struggles to stay physically connected to the crisis zone and the people on the ground, finding ways to use his artistic practice to work with different groups to address issues related to the conflict and process trauma from the war.