On the occasion of the last week of the exhibition Gods Moving in Places. The Day Reader, we will show Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s film online for 24 hours from 9 June, 18:00.
Wacapou, a Prologue or A Room in my Mother’s house (2018, 26 minutes), tells a different story of the Maroni River and the communities that lived there, but is also more intimately connected to the artist’s life. As one heads down the Lawa River, the small village of Wacapou is located on the right bank. A little further downstream, the Lawa flows into the Maroni River. The Lawa and Maroni rivers form French Guiana’s natural western border with Suriname. In the 1950s, the ten or so families living in Wacapou were mainly immigrants from Saint Lucia or the French-speaking West Indies. In 1984, Abonnenc’s mother bought a small house in the village of Wacapou from Joseph Bernes, a former gold miner from Saint Lucia. It is the only house she ever owned. Following the outbreak of civil war in Suriname in July 1986, and it became less and less feasible for her to go to Wacapou.
Wacapou, a Prologue or a Room in My Mother’s House can be seen as an introduction to an ongoing project in which Abonnenc tries to read the landscape as an archive (photo Vieux-Wacapou, Le Cimetière (2), 2017/2018), enabling us to tell the story of the upper Maroni, the past and present communities of Creole gold miners and the environmental impact of a post-slavery economy.