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Cédric Djedje & Noémi Michel | Residency

South Africa | Performing Arts Portrait via Vidy (c) Eric Roset

September - December 2023 — Performing Arts

Geneva-based artists Cédric Djedje and Noémi Michel work together on an ongoing pluridisciplinary project exploring narratives of futurity within the global Black diaspora. The collaboration weaves together documentary theatre/performance and Black feminist critical thinking/radiophonic creation. Their residency in Johannesburg, South Africa from September to December 2023 centres around engaging with the city as a vibrant centre for the Global Black diaspora and for Afrofuturisms.

Since 2018 Cédric and Noémi have been interviewing Black activists mobilising for the decolonization of public spaces in Berlin, Geneva and Paris. This material formed the basis for the conference-performance “Vielleicht” (2022-23). Many of these discussions emphasised the need to decolonize space and time through a (re)connection with histories, knowledge and people on the African continent. This informs their residency in South Africa. “Staying in Joburg and connecting with its vibrant and various scenes would be uniquely enriching for our research on Black diasporic futurities,” the artists explain.

During their time in the city the artists wish to connect with other Black critical thinkers and artists to exchange philosophies about time and creative methods for narrating the future. They hope to expand their existing audiovisual library of Black conversations about the future and record interviews with artistic practitioners, thinkers and activists who deploy speculation, radical Black imagining, science-fiction or prospective thought. The duo also hope to develop collaborations with local artists using performance, theatre improvisations and multimedia installations to explore articulations of more just futures.


Noémi Michel is a scholar, teacher, activist and cultural worker in the field of critical Black thought. She is senior lecturer in political theory at the University of Geneva and teaches on a regular basis at the School for Art and Design (HEAD) – Geneva. She is member of the European Race and Imagery Foundation (ERIF), the Collectif Faites des Vagues. At the juncture of theory and artistic and collective experiments, her work is rooted in critical Black thought. It currently explores divergent understandings of antiracism in European public debates and institutions as well as diasporic Black feminist theories of political voice. Her recent writing has been published in Mirà (the journal of the New Museum of Monaco), Darkmatter Journal, Critical Horizons and Postcolonial studies. Her latest artistic collaborations include the series of radio broadcasts “la politique de la voix” (Radio 40) and a theatrical “talk show” about the Swiss (post)colonial  imaginary staged at Festival de la Cité (Lausanne). Noémi co-wrote the theatre creation Vieilleicht (Grütli, Vidy) which explores Black history and dreams in relation to European public spaces.

Cédric DjeDje graduated from The Manufacture – Haute école des arts de la scène, in 2010 with a bachelor in theatre. Since then, he has acted, performed, danced for Jean-Louis Hourdin, Erika von Rosen, Massimo Furlan, Arpad Schilling, Aurélien Patouillard, Marion Duval, Koraline de Baere, Guillaume Béguin, Armand Deladoey, Claire Deutsch, Eric Devanthéry, Jacint Margarit, Abdoulaye Konaté, Lola Giouse. He was artist in residence for three seasons (2013-2016) at the Théâtre Saint-Gervais Genève. In 2014, he co-founded, with five other artists from the Manufacture, the Collectif Sur Un Malentendu. In film, he he acted in Fauves by Robin Erard and recently appeared in two series, Helvetica and Hors-Saison. In 2020, he founded the company Absent.e, with which he created the multidisciplinary work Vieilleicht (Grütli, Vidy) exploring Black history and dreams in relation to European public spaces.

[Portrait via Vidy (c) Eric Roset]