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Christian Etongo (Yaoundé)

03.11. 11:00 – 12:00

Museum Fünf Kontinente

free entrance

10:30 am introduction with Claude Jansen in German

Songs in Ewondo, no language skills required

  • Rollstuhlgerecht

In traditional African religions, the totem is an object of identification that keeps a group together by means of an unbreakable bond. The totem is often a vertical wooden sculpture covered in symbols. The head is usually outsized, for as the seat of thought, it is considered to be the noblest part of the body. The animal or plant embodied by the totem is regarded as sacred and may be neither eaten nor used in trade. Christian Etongo’s works are complex compilations which performatively transcribe myths and rituals in order to establish a kind of new (central) African concept of culture. In TOTEM he acts as a "Ngan'Ngan", a kind of master of ceremonies, staging the symbolic return of a totem that was stolen by another clan. Nine masks are arranged in a circle on the stage. Etongo stands in the middle of the circle and tries to conjure up again the lost tenth mask. Thus begins a ritual which blurs the boundaries between performance, reality, spiritual world and theatre.     

#Performance / Ritual  #Postcolonialism  #Community Building  #Participation 

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By and with Christian Etongo


Born in Yaoundé in 1972, Raphaël Christian Etongo is interested in the expression of the body: first dance at the end of the 1980s and then other forms of expression, such as theatre, painting and literature. Since 1997, Christian Etongo has focused mainly on performance. To date he has created about thirty performances, he has shown his work internationally (South Africa, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Niger, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Nigeria, Germany, Poland, Zimbabwe, Sweden). A non-conformist artist, Christian Etongo's works are a journey between the ephemeral and the eternal, the finite and the infinite.


Claude Jansen has studied applied theatre studies at Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany. She is a founding member of the performance collective She She Pop, withwhich she performedfrom 1993 to 2003, whilst working as DJ and author at the same time.
Until 2012 she was part of transnational arts center Hajusom’s managing team. Since then she has been working as a free dramaturge and curator, has been teaching at universities, leading workshops and giving lectures – all of which were focussed on transnational (artistic) working- and mediation-processes between Africa and Europe.
Since 1990 she has been travelling to various countries in Africa on a regular basis, participating in artistic research and cooperation, focussing on questions of performing ritual practices. She works on topics of animism, political activism and healing in arts and education. In 2020 she will be starting her programme: FEMALE DECOLONISATION – THE RE-ENACTEMENT OF THINGS, developed and performed in cooperation with Bisrat Negasi (M.Bassy Hamburg).

Production and realization

Realization in cooperation with Museum Fünf Kontinente