The Wysing Podcast series shares discussion, research and new work in audio and video formats.
016 Tito Valery
""Memory allows for a kind of mental time travel, a way for us to picture not just the past but also the future." – Shirely S Wang.
In early summer this year, we were very lucky to have Tito Valery in-residence at Wysing for two months, as Wysing Art Centre’s first ARTIST at RISK (AR)-Residency artist. Whilst in residence at Wysing, Valery was interested in bringing together voices from the African diaspora through spoken word, a podcast, photography and conversation to explore the realities of the post-colonial impact and political division currently affecting Cameroon.
Valery’s residency culminated in "Are We Who We Are?", 2018, a multi-part new sound and photographic installation presented at Guest Projects, London. Working with producer ANG and writer Dzekashu Macviban in Wysing's Polyphonic recording studio, Valery composed new sound pieces reflecting on the themes of migration and the postcolonial reality, from his position as an anglophone Cameroonian producing art in the UK.
"Malochy", combines Valery's spoken word with a haunting looped vocal sample, lo-fi beats and recorded conversations. Functioning as a manifesto, the piece culminates with a sample of a controversial statement from the Cameroonian Minister for Communication, in which he threatens to censor the internet if it's used to threaten the 'territorial integrity' of the country.
"The Mouth of Liars Will be Shot (To her who rejoiced)" features a poem by Bate Besong, read by writer Dzekashu
Macviban. Besong's words, written before his death in 2007, imagine a moment when the oppressed finally become the powerful. Recontextualised by Valery with a claustrophobic soundscape by ANG, Besong's poetry takes on a prophetic quality and shows the possibility of art and artists to speak to the present-day post-mortem.
“Ours is a tale of people bound together by blood and culture. Families torn apart by outside forces; their memories blurred by strange ways but never lost. Inner longings, vivid in their determination to unite again. Even as we stumble to refit the pieces of this puzzle called Cameroon, the beauty of toghu captures our imagination. Ndole’s richness tantalises taste buds. Makossa sustains our souls. And Fran-Anglais is how speak into the future. The "Are We Who We Are" photography exhibition (and Tito's first ever sound installation), aims to highlight the stakes of the ‘Anglophone problem’ and propose that art – as expressed in music, fashion, language and food – can facilitate unity. Conversations will celebrate a people’s memory and its promise to spark a reimagined nation." – Ngum . N.