1001 Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5
Anna Binta Diallo is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist, born in Dakar and raised in St. Boniface (Winnipeg) on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the Métis Nation. With a BA from the University of Manitoba and a MA from the Transart Institute, Berlin (2013), her art explores the themes of memory and nostalgia to create unexpected works about identity.
She exhibited in Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Taipei, Finland and Berlin. In addition to receiving numerous grants and awards, including from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Francofonds, Diallo was also the recipient of the 2021 Barbara Spohr Award, offered by the Banff Centre and Walter Philips Gallery and the Black Designers of Canada Awards of Excellence.
Approach and works on display
Anna Binta Diallo explores concepts of belonging and not belonging through themes of identity, race and colonialism. These works are spatial installations composed of paintings, drawings and videos, as well as digital and paper collages.
By arranging and combining materials in her collages, she creates surprising new narratives and viewpoints.
Circle dance (2022)
Produced especially for this 14th festival, this work presents dancing characters who, in the words of the artist, “dialogue with their bodies”. In keeping with her preoccupation with the different forms of narratives at the foundation of different histories and identities, Anna invites us to read the body as articulating memory. More than that, she engages in a dialogue from some of the knowledge-sharing systems she inherits (African and indigenous). And for good reason, if the library organizes knowledge in the West, it is the body that traditionally organizes it for many indigenous or African peoples. As the African saying goes, “when an old man dies in Africa, a library burns”. Through the constant of the circle, she invites us to rethink the knowledge that impregnates dance and the way in which it crosses us. Whether dance occupies a central place in the transmission of the narratives of certain peoples and oppressed populations or whether it is read as a simple gesture of socialization, Anna reminds us that it organizes an important part of our narratives.