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Quartier Général Goutte d’Or, Institut des Cultures d’Islam - Saison Africa 2020
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Goutte d’Or headquarters, Institut des Cultures d’Islam - Africa2020 Season

Located in the Goutte d’Or district in Paris, the Institut des Cultures d’Islam is among the headquarters of the Africa2020 Season.

Updated on 09/05/2022

2 min

Institut des Cultures d’Islam

A City of Paris cultural institution, the ICI aims to showcase the diversity of Islamic cultures by organising exhibitions, concerts, lectures, screenings and debates and workshops, with a dedicated offering for young people. From Africa to Asia via Europe and the Middle East and as far as America and Australia, these multiple cultures inspire artists of all backgrounds, ties, beliefs and nationalities.


The Zone Franche exhibition

Zone Franche is a collective adventure, the fruit of an encounter between three art organisations located in Cameroon, Morocco and France, united by a shared desire to interact with the urban ecosystems that created them. Drawing on input from a host of local creatives and experts, Doual’art, Think Tanger and the ICI have co-created an exhibition in the form of an autonomous poetic and symbolic space. The reverse of the enclave it usually designates, this Zone France (free zone) explores the movement of travellers, goods and imaginary worlds beyond material or invisible limits.

In a reaction to the gradual erasure of traditional ways of living, the concept of nomadism is transposed here onto everything and everyone that crosses borders: women, men, beliefs, consumer goods and currencies that circulate through arbitrary maps and infrastructures inherited from colonialism. Free or restricted, with or without a visa, by air, land or sea, their travels resist or contribute – depending on the scenario – to the fragmentation of a continent and a world beset by hegemonic hopes.

Zone Franche then explores the informal practices that are creeping in through the cracks of globalisation. Be it the jewellery sold on the streets of Algiers, the smuggling of goods between the Moroccan and Spanish borders or the spontaneous construction of housing in Tangier, these survival mechanisms highlight the struggles and resilience of individuals on the margins of the capitalist development model.

Alongside these concrete circumvention strategies, the mind too attempts to abstract itself from its immediate surroundings and seek comfort from other worlds, distant or dreamed. These imaginary travels represent immaterial and fertile connections that sketch out hybrid identities, interlaced genealogies and languages, blended cultures and rites. They attest in our infinite capacity to reinvent ourselves.

Discover the Zone Franche exhibition

Les Fables du Calao

The result of intensive dialogue with artists and a desire to support creation, nearly a third of the works in the Zone Franche exhibition are brand-new productions. One of them, a visual and audio circuit entitled Les Fables du Calao, is spilling out of the walls of the ICI into the urban space. For a three-month residency, the artists of the Cercle Kapsiki will be meeting residents in Barbès-Château Rouge to showcase the fluidity and musicality of the languages spoken in this neighbourhood, shaped by flows and exchanges with the African continent. A project co-produced by the ICI and the MU collective as part of “Embellir Paris” (Beautifying Paris) in partnership with the Cité Internationale des Arts and the Villa Belleville.

The circuit Les Fables du Calao will be accessible in march, by borrowing an audio-guide at the Institut des Cultures d'Islam or by downloading an application. 

Exhibition curators:

Bérénice Saliou, Institut des Cultures d’Islam (France)

Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Doual’art (Cameroon)

Hicham Bouzid and Amina Mourid, Think Tanger (Morocco)


HQ programming

•        Stage Arts 

Sahariennes - concert

Minkana: histoires du pays Beti

Samâ Cinéma: La nuit mouride – film/concert

Aïda, celle qui reviendra – musical story

Faire miroiter l'autre – dance


•        Films

Amussu, Nadir Bouhmouch

Dans ma tête un rond-point, Hassen Ferhani

Le chant d’Ahmed, Foued Mansour

La Pirogue, Moussa Touré

Sur la planche, Leïla Kilani


•        Lectures – debates

Hassan el-Wazzan, known as Joannes Leo Africanus


•        Young audiences

Fantastique plastique

Kigueri, l'enfant têtu - story


•        Guided tours

Street food made in Goutte d’Or

Tour of the Château Rouge (Little Africa) neighbourhood 

The Institut français and the project

The Institut des Cultures d’Islam is among the headquarters of the Africa2020 Season.

Initiated by Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic, the Africa2020 Season takes place throughout France (mainland and overseas territories). It is dedicated to the 54 states of the African continent.

Find out more about the Africa2020 Season


L'institut français, LAB