Faustin Linyekula

Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice of Theater, Artist in Residence Affiliation: Visiting

Research Areas: Dance and theater making/ Poetry/ Arts, culture and politics in Africa and its diasporas

Faustin Linyekula is known as a dancer, choreographer, but he calls himself a storyteller. He tells his stories through writing, theater, dance, still or moving images.

In 2001, after eight years abroad (Kenya, Indian Ocean, Europe), he returned to the ruins of his native country, Democratic Republic of Congo, former Zaire, former Belgian Congo, former Congo Free State, private property of Leopold II, King of Belgians. He wanted to be as close as possible to these stories of the Congo that haunt all his shows; but it was also a challenge against the desperation that every year pushes thousands of Congolese out of the country, never to return. Thus were born the Studios Kabako. Not an artistic company, but a place. A refuge for artists from the Congo and beyond, offering long-term accompaniment, from training to production and touring. A space to federate creative energies, regardless of artistic disciplines (dance, theater, music, or cinema). But being an artist in the DR Congo is more than just producing so-called artistic objects, it is first and foremost being a citizen at the heart of the community, proposing spaces of imagination, spaces of possibilities. That’s why Studios Kabako is also a pilot water purification project, supplying every day clean drinking water to 1,000 people in a district of the city with no running water. It’s also computer literacy workshops for children and adults in a neighborhood without electricity. Or “Dessine-moi une forêt” (Draw me a forest), a collaboration with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Kisangani around environmental education for children and adolescents.

His work has been shown in theaters, festivals and museums across Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, including the MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Africa Museum in Tervuren, the Tate Modern in London, the MUCEM in Marseille, Festival d’Avignon, the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, New Zealand Festival, Sharjah Biennial, Théâtre de la Ville or Festival d’Automne in Paris. He was the artist of the city in Lisbon in 2016, and co-associate artist for Holland Festival in 2019. He received the 2007 Principal Award from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, the 2014 CurryStone Design Prize, the 2018 Inaugural Soros Arts Fellowship, and the 2019 Tällberg / Eliasson Global Leadership Prize. He's currently an associate artist at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.

Courses Taught