Idoumou and Companions. Photo by Jakob Jurkosek
Idoumou and Companions. Photo by Jakob Jurkosek

Reunion on a Colourful and Social Construction Site

Mohamed Idoumou from Maison des cinéastes (Nouakchott, Mauritania) and Valentin Schmehl from Other Music Academy (Weimar, Germany) have worked together on Can we afford a vision, during their Tandem Shaml collaboration in 2016-17. They reunited in Weimar thanks to a Tandem travel grant. Idoumou tells more about this recent visit.

After the beautiful experience of Tandem, I am continuously interested to build projects with Valentin, and together we have found various cultural and artistic ways of cooperating.

The three goals of my participation in the project #openpavillon – We build a stage! in May 2019 in Weimar, Germany, have been reached.

The first goal was to learn something new, and this has definitely been completed. As the #openpavillon project put itself the task this year to build a big mobile and modular stage to be used in performances and following project, the building of this stage became an important school for me to try out, understand and learn many things from carpentry and joinery, both in theory as hands-on. I also learned a bunch of German words, as well as some Spanish, Turkish, Slovenian and of course some English words.

The second goal was to meet again artists that I had gotten to know and appreciate in previous travels, such as Valentin and others. But also to broaden my network and meet new artists and practitioners from all fields of crafts and arts. I was lucky to be with around fifty people from different cultures, different religions, different languages and different ages – it is this that gave my visit a very special taste.

The third goal that I wanted to accomplish was my personal desire to travel in order to discover the world through people.

It was my goal to learn, but also to exchange my knowledge, to learn in both ways. So my stay at the Other Music Academy was a great occasion to deeply explain that between Morocco and Senegal there is a country that is called Mauritania, and I had the opportunity to speak about this country, its history, its present and foremost to speak about its ethnic and cultural diversity. And I also presented a piece of Mauritanian cinema, by screening Bells by Mai Mostapha, followed by a rich debate about the new young generation of Mauritanian filmmakers and about cinema in general.

I would have liked to share this experience with my friend, the actor Mohamed Aziz who was meant to come with me, but he had a visa issue.

To summarise, I was delighted to visit the domain of OMA in Weimar again, to find out about their major changes, positive ones, concerning the building itself, and the possibility to have everyone sleeping in it.

All in all, this was a deep multilayered exchange.

To know more about the project #openpavillon as a socio-cultural constructionist between arts, crafts and social, please visit: