SAMBUN · Thionck Essyl Arts Festival

19 – 23 June 2021

Casamance, Senegal


Sambun means to light the fire in Diola. The festival was born as a meeting place for artists from both Africa and other parts of the world to promote access to contemporary art in Thionck Essyl, a rural region in the Casamance area.

It has open and free workshops for the public, and a program of traditional local culture in collaboration with the municipality of Thionck Essyl. Sambun is therefore a spark with which to promote creativity, transversal thinking and synergies through the value that art brings.

The festival culminates with an exhibition at the CEM Kamanar school of all the pieces created during the festival. With all the work created throughout its editions, Sambun will generate an art fund that will constitute a museum of contemporary art for and by the people.

sambun exposición 1 foundawtion
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Berta Blanca Ivanow (Spain)

taller berta ivanow sambun foundawtion

Pottery workshop

Berta bridges the gap between traditional local pottery and abstract ceramic sculpture. A joint walk is carried out around Thionck Essyl with the aim of observing and collecting objects such as bones, tree roots, seeds, flowers, etc. which, together with some reference images provided by Berta, allows us to explore clay modeling and its infinite possibilities beyond utilitarian ceramics, promoting creativity from abstraction.

Albert Moya (Spain)

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Script and film workshop

Albert Moya’s workshop is divided into two phases. The first, teach how to tell a story; the second, learning to tell it in an audiovisual language. The stories are developed through joint conversations where each one shares the projection they have of themselves. All of them build the narrative thread that they will film together. Some of the scenes are shot on film; other scenes are filmed with mobiles.

Pascal Nampémanla Traoré (Senegal)

Paint and pigment workshop

Using only different types of earth, clay, seeds, resins and egg yolks, the artist Nampémanla teaches how to make paint by combining the various elements to later develop free-expression, figurative or abstract works and murals.

Guillermo Santomà (Spain)

Ephemeral structures workshop

Santomà and participants develop a large-scale mobile wooden structure that can be opened and placed on the ground creating different shapes and volumes. With the meters of plastic sewn by them using a sewing machine, they build an inflatable space to place inside the mobile structure, an ephemeral space that adapts and varies its shape depending on the layout of the external structure.

Muhsana Ali & Kane Sy (USA & Senegal)

Public art

Artists Muhsana Ali & Kane Sy teach glass painting classes. With all the painted glass that includes drawings, words and ideas, together with some waste materials such as tiles, ceramics or cans, they make a collective mural where they represent the different neighborhoods of the town of Thionck Essyl. The intervened mural is the current entrance wall of the Thionck Essyl town hall.

Alioune Diouf (Senegal)

Free expression workshop

The main objective of the workshop will be to promote the total creative freedom of the participants, giving free rein to their inspiration and sensitivity. It will focus on drawing through traditional or more improvised media and supports, and may also address other forms of expression

Seyni Awa Camara (Senegal)

performance seyni awa camara sambun
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For a whole night, the renowned artist from the region, and with the collaboration of her children, cooks a sculpture on an open fire on the edge of the forest, after having carried out the required traditional rites prior to cooking.


Claudia Garcia Mauriño


Pepi de Boissieu

Pablo Cendoya

With special thanks to:

Alioune Diouf

Pascal Nampémanla Traoré

Albert Moya

Amadou Kane Sy

Muhsana Ali

Guillermo Santomà

Berta Blanca Ivanow

Seyni Awa Camara

Mamadou Aliou Diallo

Aliou Diallo

Jesús Ahedo


Casa Bonay

Dora Daar

Diana Martín

Marina Bissone

Adama Diatta

Thionck Essyl City Council

To all the friends who have supported us to make this festival possible

Graphic design:

Apartamento Studios

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