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  Cultural Innovation Editor | ericdeculturama@gmail.com | N°44 | NOVEMBER 2020
CULTURAMA is your new destination to discover the best of Art, Architecture and Design. Both web-magazine and video-broadcaster, CULTURAMA accompanies you in the exploration of 21st century artists, with its exclusive interviews, reports, and mini-series.
Speak BROTHER Speak poster | KAMUN©

Invigorating speech
„ 

 

While the new pandemic wave ravages Europe and the curfew is gradually spreading over its territories, culture and Art find themselves reduced to the bare minimum of media coverage and political decisions. However, living without does indeed amount to cutting oneself off from one's emotions, which leaves the possibility to withdrawal into oneself. Art in our society is neither a field of activity nor a hobby like any other; it gives way to invigorating words, it brings up new points of view, the unknown, making us discover vibrations that we would not have imagined. In a sense, Art saves us from ourselves.

CULTURAMA introduces you to Kamun, a digital artist who follows, in his words, Social Art. Even though he grapples with painful topics such as racism or colonization, his work is not limited to a form of activism, as the quest for identity remains underlying for Kamun. Once you meet him, you will discover a freedom of tone, a very recognizable style, and strong messages, like the one from Speak BROTHER Speak.

Between myself and the others
SOCIAL ART
KAMUN
 
Eric of CULTURAMA: You define yourself as an African Caribbean, an uprooted man in search of himself, of his history. This self-research enriches your work. Conversely, did artistic expression contribute to your quest?

Kamun: Without a doubt, subconsciously. I wondered about my personality and my position in society even before these questions formed a subject for artistic research. Through such questions, by dint of representing myself through different mediums, I was able to include myself in a Whole, in a movement, to define myself without being stuck in a given know-how. My experience as a social worker has greatly contributed to delimiting this Whole: I watched after adolescents from violent contexts. More generally, I accompanied the individual, I brought him into our society. This experience has become the tool at the origin of my artistic process.
RRR-3 | KAMUN©
Eric: What influenced you in your decision to focus on the social aspect of Art?

Kamun: In 2014, when the first logo-like variations of my characters were born, I still felt far removed from any artistic process. These characters later formed The BROWN Family, but this name, based mainly on color, still seemed partial and reductive to me. Until a childhood friend told me that BROWN can stand for Black Realize their Own World Now. My interpretation of the acronym is Create! Get into action! This expression allowed me to refine my approach. The characters then became the true representation of my journey, of what I feel and defend.
RRR-1 | KAMUN©
The second key event, which pushed me to anchor myself fully in the Art, was the job loss. I questioned myself in the face of a dilemma: persevere in an uncertain job market or get into the creation and put myself in action. The time had come to stand by my BROWN philosophy, to be part of an artistic and professional movement, to question our society, our positions, our roles in relation to politics, for example. The rest is history...
Contamination | KAMUN©
Eric: Recently, you produced the series named ROUGH, the ROOTS of REVOLUTION, which questions the place of failed attempts in the production of the final work. Another recent work is the animated film Speak BROTHER Speak that deals with racism and apartheid, among other topics. What are your future projects?

Kamun: I am working on an exhibition called Carnet KRITIK. It should take place somewhere in 2021. Carnet KRITIK is a series of drawings focusing on recent and current events in Guadeloupe. These problems, however, are not new, they persist, are omnipresent, and sometimes resurface with force in our social reality. For example, prolonged water cuts due to renovations interrupted because of the disappearance of the pipe plans; in some neighborhoods, such cuts can last up to a month because of non-locatable leaks in the network. Of course, it doesn't reduce the water bill.
Then there was the fire on November 28, 2017, which destroyed the Pointe-à-Pitre University Hospital. This event changed the population's behavior; children are told to try not to injure themselves while playing because we no longer have a place to heal, and if a grandparent becomes ill, the first instinct is to go to mainland France. We live in a climate of fear and mistrust. Furthermore, soil poisoning worsened this catastrophic health situation; the treatment of bananas in the French West Indies between 1972 and 1993 involved the intensive use of chlordecone, an organochlorine insecticide banned in the United States because of its repercussions on health, notably prostate cancer. In mainland France, to finish their stocks of chlordecone, the békés have insisted at the Ministry of Agriculture to extend their herbicide spray permits. This decision was economically beneficial but, in return, polluted a large part of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The cancer rate is generally higher in these areas, especially among farmers who were working with chlordecone at the time.
KAMUN behind his self-portrait | Laurence Baptiste Salomon©
These facts and reflections are at the heart of Carnet KRITIK, which tackles and highlights them. It is also an organic evolution of my style, which now goes beyond simple portraits, incorporating elements related to real events.
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CULTURAMA HOMEMADE
PEPS & VITAMINS


CULTURAMA HOMEMADE was born on April 1, 2020, during the lockdown spring, long before Netflix's namesake show. The means of production are limited, and collaborators can't come close to each other. But the desire to share our passion for Art and to prevail over restrictions on freedom is still here, fueling us.

The conditions in which we operate are therefore quite special. Everyone works at home and communicates only by email or phone. HOMEMADE episodes so far confirmed that the hunger for exchange of artistic knowledge remains, whatever the circumstances. This mini-series thus takes the challenge to present artists with diverse cultures and identities from all over the world, during and after lockdown, no matter how complicated the logistics might be.
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CULTURAMA, the new destination for discoverers, accompanies you in the exploration of 21st century Art and Design. To achieve this, CULTURAMA STUDIO produces exclusive interviews, reports, and mini-series.

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CULTURAMA 2020 — CULTURAL INNOVATION EDITOR
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