Musée d'Orsay: Abd Al Malik - Young Black Boy with a Sword

Abd Al Malik - Young Black Boy with a Sword


Abd Al Malik reflects on the painting Young Black Boy with a Sword© Fabien Coste
For the exhibition Black models: from Géricault to Matisse, the Musée d’Orsay is inviting Abd Al Malik. At the museum, the famous poet, rapper, poetry-slam performer and essayist will be presenting his new creation, written with the Burkinabe choreographer Salia Sanou and produced by Décibels Productions in partnership with the Théâtre de la Ville.

From this encounter, a book was also born, with an accompanying CD. Tracing the story of the Young Black Boy with a Sword, the book is co-published by Présence Africaine, the Musée d’Orsay and Flammarion.

4 - 7 April 2019
Musée d'Orsay
Auditorium niveau -2


Full rate: €35
Concessions: €30
Young person and solidarity rate: €8

Fully booked

Young Black Boy with a Sword

Pierre Puvis de ChavannesYoung Black Boy with a Sword© Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
"The Young Black Boy with a Sword is the title of a painting by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes that moved me when I saw the exhibition’s works. As I wanted to write a long poem—in my own way—on identity in an age of globalisation, blending Baudelaire’s poetic language with Glissant’s philosophy, this painting was a revelation to me.

Among the other paintings by nineteenth-century master artists before my eyes—emblems of how a perspective is made, how the other is formed and how a collective unconscious is racialised—Young Black Boy with a Sword told me a tale via emotions, through its striking uniqueness in symbolism and depiction of the black figure, a story set in a world of poverty and concrete buildings that I’ve experienced all my life. In my writing, it was therefore natural that this young black boy—thrown into the present day, just out of prison, in his social-housing ghetto—began expressing himself.

The story of this young black boy is punctuated with other features and broken up. It’s a rebellion with rhythm, rapped and rendered in a poetry-slam style, sung to music that’s black, white, mixed-race, old and new, and made up of melodic fragments and diverse musical extracts. When these different aspects collide accidentally and unexpectedly, new and harmonious features emerge. It’s an allegory of the journey taken by the story’s young black boy and of those new generations that I belong to, born in Europe but with roots in the ancestral African continent.”
Abd Al Malik

Creation and performance: Abd Al Malik
Choreography: Salia Sanou
Co-production: Musée d'Orsay, Décibels Production and Théâtre de la Ville

Talk with Abd Al Malik, Salia Sanou and the artistic team

following the performance on Sunday 7 April

Thu 4 April 2019 - 20h00
Fri 5 April 2019 - 20h00
Sat 6 April 2019 - 20h00
Sun 7 April 2019 - 15h00
Musée d'Orsay
Auditorium niveau -2

Duration About 75 minutes

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