Towards the New Baroque of Voices is a new video installation by Manthia Diawara in which the New York-based author and filmmaker creates a parliament of thinkers and artists from his archive of raw film footage dating from 1985 to the present. Anchoring this work in the voice and thought of Martinican philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant (1928-2011), Diawara creates imaginary dialogues on Africa and the African Diaspora. This installation features original footage, some of which previously unseen, of writers, actors, activists, and philosophers, such as: Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Danny Glover, David Hammons, Sembène Ousmane, Jean Rouch, Wole Soyinka, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and Aminata Traoré.
By cutting and assembling different interviews, Diawara brings together the past, present, and future in a contemporaneous spatial relationship. This film-essay gives shape to a recurring, imagined relational reality that allows for spaces of freedom. In it, ideas are never fully exhausted, and the filmmaker-essayist serves as a guiding narrator.
Alongside this new installation, a documentation room showcases a bibliography of Diawara’s topics and intellectual universe, as well as two past films directly related to the people and themes portrayed in the main film: Édouard Glissant: One World in Relation (2010) and Negritude: A Dialogue Between Soyinka and Senghor (2015).
Towards the New Baroque of Voices is a coproduction between the 34th São Paulo Biennial and Amant.