Toguna: Inge Braeckman writes letter to Youssouf Dara

CLW Project Popart Martin Corlazzoli COR01738

Poet Inge Braeckman met Youssouf Dara in the Toguna he made in S.M.A.K. She wrote a letter to Youssouf Dara, Pawel Althamer, who helped build the Toguna, and all refugees today.


For Youssouf Dara & Pawel Althamer,
For all the refugees today,

Your story is one like there are thousands,
tens of thousands, millions,… Because you did not
want to fight, because you did not want to connect
blood to your soul and thoughts, you fled, when
your village, your loved ones, family and friends,
your rituals and culture, which are ancient and faithful,
were attacked, massacred. The Toguna, your Casa
de la Palabra, built in three days, has now descended
like an arch in the Museum. As a central place of
exchange and everything that can be shared on earth
to iron out conflicts while sitting. The roof of wood
and twigs low so that humility and reverence also
have a place in the midst of the eight pillars as a sign
of eternity. Originally immortal were the humans, as
the Dogon legend tells, until suddenly their soul
separated from the body, took the form of a lébé, as
ancestors living in caves. Every rock, tree and animal
a part of the connected and vibrating whole.
The antelope as the first animal, the hare full of intelligence,
the crocodile so sacred, who lives together with the family
and can be caressed. Fertility sculptures are also prayers
to propitiate the rain, a child to underline the importance
of education, a turtle to keep poison out of food.
A flip flop because you do not enter this place with shoes
on. So logically connected to nature, every event leaves
a trace, so that it is never forgotten, does not disappear
from the collective consciousness of humanity.

Inge Braeckman

lébé: is the Dogon word for snake that has no negative connotation in the culture, but refers to the first ancestor.

Become a Friend of S.M.A.K.
made by