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ABOUT THE RESIDENCY
Nestled in a quiet town in the French country side, the well-connected residency is a place for artists, photographers, authors and researchers to work and confront ideas.
See more info about the location here.
The name BRAZZA is the short name for Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, founded at the same time as the house which hosts the residency. From this standpoint many links between Africa and Europe can be explored.
The city of Brazzaville was named after the Franco-Italian explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza who founded it in 1880 in agreement with the king of the Téké, King Makoko de Mbé. An idealist, De Brazza enabled the colonisation of new African lands while strongly reproving exploitation. The following years after his departure proved that colonisation was mainly an economic affair, and De Brazza definitively lost all hope when large part of the new territories were sold to private European companies. In 1905 he was sent back to investigate on the state of the colonies he had founded. From his enquiries he wrote an extremely critical report accusing French colonial administration to assist private companies in exploiting and torturing people with the help of the colonial army. So severe was De Brazza’s report that it was censured and believed to be lost forever. Profoundly diminished during this last terrible mission in Congo and Central Africa, De Brazza died on his trip back in Dakar and was buried where he had lived with his family, in Alger, “at the doorstep of Africa”. More than a hundred years later, in 2006, his remains were transferred to the city he founded, Brazzaville, where a huge mausoleum was erected.
The fact that the residency is situated in a central house built by a cognac maker adds another layer of historical links because cognac -which has always been an export product till today- was sold in large quantities in the infamous triangular trade between Europe, Africa and America that deported millions of Africans.
The aim of the residency is to provide the conditions for artists and researchers to work freely on their personal project. We like to promote collaborations between artists and researchers from all continents in times of great challenges.
The residency is open to all artists, writers and photographers from every part of the world.
The Art Director Elise Billiard Pisani is a French Anthropologist by training and a curator by profession. She worked for the Ecoc Valletta 2018 as the art director and coordinator of an important strand of projects related to migration and exile questioning the production of the figure of the migrants and the modes of resistance that have been invented. Her projects included Utopian Nights festival, Rima, Subjective maps, and finally Exiled Homes. As anthropologist she lectured at the university of Malta for more than a decade and published extensively on the topics such as urban public spaces and social cohesion, or national identity and culinary invented traditions, material culture and visual anthropology.
The Photographer David Pisani’s photographic work can be summed up as a relentless pursuit of the sublime and the erotic. He is the author of an extensive photographic essay on the city of Valletta and the red-light district of Strait Street entitled ‘Vanishing Valletta’ which in the year 2000 was included in the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. His urban reportage defies the obvious graphic nature of photography in favour of a more complex reading of emotionally charged images. In 1998 he returned to the theme of the body with a more explicit treatment of the themes of sex, decay and death and produced a seminal body of work entitled “EVERY-BODY” developing a unique photographic process that causes the image to alter itself over time as does the human body that grows old, dies and decays. His most recent work includes two photographic essays on the war zones in Cyprus and the city of Kyoto in Japan. He is a fanatical darkroom printer with more than 25 years experience in commercial and fine art printing.