Creation residency in Mayotte (2016-2018)

In 2016, with the support of the Head of Cultural Affairs of Mayotte, Sisygambis has began a three-year residency of creation on the island, integrating the land to the global project “From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean” developped during 10 years troughout the Eastern coast of Africa and in the Indian Ocean. 

This global work of multimedia arts is the occasion to highlight, both nationally and internationally, on the cultural and artistic heritage of Mayotte trough its landscapes, fishing customs, religious ceremonies, musics, dances and local languages. The rich history of this land of migrations, mixities and memories, is to be vastly broadcasted online, as Sisygambis has always depicted human experiences using modern technologies.

Christine Coulange reaffirms her vision of digital technologies as a way to explore, diffuse and and share our world. 

Artistic creations

In partnerships and conventions with the MuMa (Museum of Mayotte), the Departemental Archives of Mayotte, the CUFR ( University of Mayotte), the Iconothèque Historique de l’océan Indien (Indian Ocean Historical Images Library), the UNESCO-ITEN Chair, The Paris 8 University and CreaTIC program, the  Institut du monde arabe (Arab world Institute)  and the MuCEM, Sisygambis is proud to reverberate the sounds of Maore culture in great institutions, museums or universities. Shootings, meeting with artists, anthropologists, linguists, economomists and local specialists gave birth to a series of musical short films, that were displayed in prestigious exhibitions. First, the webdocumentary “Ports, from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean”, coproduced with the Institut du monde arabe, with the support of the  Délégation Générale à la Langue Française et aux Langues de France  (DGLFLF) proposes an immersion from harbour cities to islands in three languages : french, arab and english. Several interviews have been translated from the languages of Mayotte. It has been installed in the permanent collection of the MuMa (Museum of Mayotte), sharing to the world, through digital ubiquity, the Djarifa fishing method, the Mulidi (sufi ceremony), the Debaa of Madania, the Djoho, The Longoni Port or the beauty of the pieces made by Zama Colo, the last instrument maker on the island. 

Several of these Sisygambis creations have been displayed in the exhibitions of the MuMa. 

In the french metropolitan area, more then 234 000 visitors have discovered the audiovisual works designed for the exhibition “Aventuriers des mers” (Seas Adventurers) at the Institut du monde arabe (Paris), and then at the MuCEM (Marseille) : An analysis, a history of mixity, origins and languages, from the Comoros archipelago to Zanzibar, explained by Damir Ben Ali, searcher at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Abdul Sheriff  (Zanzibar Indian Ocean Research Institute. “ Prendre la mer” (Taking the sea) on the other hand, offers a timeless journey between the Zanzibar lagoon and the wild coasts of Mayotte.  

Transmission of knowledges, broadcasting in public spaces, the real, the virtual, the local and the worldwide.

These last years, Sisygambis has also been devoted to get closer to younger generations, to create for them and with them.  its creations have been a motive to a multimedia writing workshop, in the local languages of Mayotte, composing with words and music at the MuMa. Young Maores and Comorians have reacted to the heritage of Dzaoudzi Rock, and the result is a short film published online :  “ Le rocher, mon histoire, ma
parole : Shisiwa yangu, tarehi yangu, makalima yangu

Most kids today are born digital. They use it without any hesitation, and create with it fiercely. The musical compositions made during this workshop are available for free on Bandcamp.  

The first audioguide of Mayotte

A masterclass has been directed by Sisygambis with university students from the CUFR, on media and text editing, to teach them how to create their own audioguides. The CUFR (university of Mayotte) has organized translation workshops directed by the SHIME association to display a final version of the audioguide in french, shimaore, kibushi and english. It is now available for free via the Guidigo app. A wifi connector has been set up to download it directly at the MuMa, so it offers its guided visit of Dzaoudzi rock, the historic area of Mayotte. 

New films

Sisygambis last shorts reveal the social constructions of the vivids “Great Weddings”, explained by ethnologist Siti Amina Yahaya Boinaîdi . They also unleash the collective force of music in Mayotte : Cecile Bruckert, “Musique à Mayotte” director, tells us of the evolution of her music school. Victor Randrianary, searcher in musicology and social sciences, 
updates on musical transformations and heritage. 


Christine Coulange has signed to illustrated texts based on interviews with Sufi men and women and musicians in “Patrimoines Cachés - Musique” an edition label directed by the Head of Cultural Affairs of Mayotte.

The Great Screen

Next to digital medias, big screens gather the crowd and convey powerful images. Christine Coulange, guest of the Vivid Sydney Festival for her movie “Peoples from the Indian Ocean”, broadcasted on giant screens in Sydney city center, reproduces the experience on Mayotte advertising screens, producing an echo from the other side of the Indian Ocean. 

Past, present...and yet to come

The three year residency is now about to end, but not the powerful connection that bonded Sisygambis to Mayotte. Maybe because, better then anywhere, the island gathers the coexisting values of the past and the future, the immensities of migrations, the languages that transfer, the trades and cultural exchanges. 
We are now talking about an online platform, available in local languages, that would gather the immaterial heritage of Mayotte, and allow local actors to share knowledges in french, shimaore and kibushi. It is a work in progress, between Sisygambis and its local partners. As soon as the digital era began, Sisygambis has put it in use with various creations, of sounds and images, like a timeless path between ancient practices and cut-to-edge technologies. In Mayotte, these means are a way to express oneself and to shine. Christine Coulange and Sisygambis are happy to act and convey the message.