Eugénie Baccot

Documentary Photographer

Starry Africa: Under the Tent

An acrobat hoisted onto an imposing vegetable basket that has become a throne; a human pyramid leaning on a mesob; the Ethiopian palm leaf dining table; juggling with a bobbin of cotton. In Addis Ababa, eleven African circus troops gathered for a festival in Ethiopia, in accord with their traditions seeking to invent an aesthetic specific to the continent. Fekat, the local organizer, faithful to its name in Amharic, proposes to "bloom" talents, and if possible to coax them to remain in Africa.

The very first Big-Top in the Horn of Africa has set up its stage in the heart of the capital to host, over three days, artists and performers from six nations of the continent each to show their original take on the tradition. The troops chosen by Fekat embody the renewal of the African circus, and give birth to an aesthetic tinged with grace, humour and surprise... in short, art.