7 questions to Fatima Bocoum

This week we introduce you to a young art curator and women's rights activist from Mali. We let you discover the 7 questions asked to Fatima Bocoum!

Fatima Bocoum, feminist activist and art curator

Hello Fatima, can you introduce yourself for those who don't know you yet?

Of course! My name is Fatima Bocoum. I am a Malian, born in China, raised in Libya and Saudi Arabia. I had the opportunity to live in Mali for a few years before moving to the United States. Otherwise, I am an exhibition curator and also work in business development in New York.

24 H with Fatima Bocoum, how is it going?

Oh my! It really depends on the day. I like to take some time for myself a few days of the week to rest, read, watch series and socialize. I'm also passionate about what I do so I can say that my week is varied in general; between art, business development, my self-care and my friends, I have a lot on my plate :)

What does the daily struggle of women to take their place in today's society represent, whether in contemporary art, on the political scene, in business or even in their marital homes?

It's a very important fight because no one else will do it for us. I also think that there are things that we women experience that serve as examples, as arguments for gender equality that others cannot understand without them being put forward. To speak out is therefore essential, to be heard is also essential, but above all not to give up because no change happens overnight and the nuances are the most complicated to solve.

Fatima you live in New York, in your opinion, is there a difference between the United States and France, in the way men perceive the work of women in contemporary art?

You know, and I think about this a lot, art is one of the industries where women are most accepted in my personal experience. People working in cultural and artistic circles are more open and tolerant. There is a certain sensibility that exists and is needed in these circles that pushes towards activism and systematically attracts activists. I feel good in it and as they say in English "so far so good." That's not to say that inequality or sexism doesn't exist there, but I'd rather let others speak on this topic.

Fatima Bocoum at the African Biennale of Photography

An anecdote?

It was through art that I met men who were open to the societal debate on gender equality and men who also decided to lead the fight with me. I would even dare to say that more men than women have accompanied me, and I believe that this is because many of them are still very afraid. At the same time, I don't judge them because each one has her own comfort level and/or time.

Your favorite food?

Um... I love to eat! I love fine pastries and seafood, but the most interesting thing for me is to discover different cultures through food. Maybe I could tell you about my favorite Malian dish? It is the Fakoye. It's made with corte leaves and spices from the North of Mali as well as clarified butter and often with mutton or other meat depending on the diet; all cooked over a low heat for 4-5 hours. It is an essential dish in the Tuareg culture and it is delicious!

Why did you accept to answer our questions?

The name of the gallery is pretty and the founder is a woman!