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Culture and Safety in Africa

Tête de rêves

Name of Artwork
Tête de rêves, 2013

Location and Accessibility
The artwork is located in the square of Vallée Bessengue, 10 meters after the entrance from the Boulevard de la République. It is accessible by crossing the Passerelle de Bessengue.

Level of Significance
Passageway installation – mural

About the Artworks
Tête de rêves is the artwork produced by the Gabonese artist Boris Nzebo for SUD 2013. The artist, known for his research approach that relates the traditional and contemporary culture of African hairstyles with urban environment, worked on the external walls of the shop “Thomas fashion”, a hair salon located at the heart of the Vallée Bessengue.  Tête de rêves occupies the two most visible sides of the hair salon. The main façade shows a bright wall painting, representing the profiles of mannequins for hairdressers and geometrical shapes. This façade was produced in collaboration with Joe Kessy, an artist living and working in the neighborhood. On the front side of the salon, the artist has hanged a 3 meters long metal plate on which he has applied three giant portraits of mannequins for hairdressers, with more elaborated and contemporary hairstyle.

About the location
Thomas Fashion is the biggest of the economical activities flourished in the place of the Vallée Bessengue after the production of La Passerelle. In the same area it is possible to find three different hairstyle salons and craft shops, such as tailors and shoemakers, built with recovery and disposable materials on the dangerous bank of the Mbopi River. Thomas fashion is the only formal activity, with a concrete structure, positioned in the middle of the Vallée Bessengue square.