- Category: PA 2012
Were Were Liking, born in Bondé, Cameroon in 1950, is a poet, writer, self-taught painter, sculptor and stage manager. She took an interest at first in traditional literature and particularly in the rituals of the Bassa region. She then settled in Côte d’Ivoire, taking an enthusiastic interest in cultures of Mali, Zaire and Nigeria.
After years of academic research and experience gained from local and international tours, Liking sought to ensure that her research would be of greatest benefit to African artists. With a passion for the renewal and regeneration of African literature, she established Ki-Yi M’bock in 1985. Based in Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast, this pan-african artist group produced work across all forms of contemporary and creative expression, in which aesthetics conformed to black African tradition.
Creating work within the performing arts, literature, music and audio-visual arts, Ki Yi M’bock was later to become Ki-Yi Village, a training center for artists from all over the region. The Village was officially opened as Pan-African Ki-Yi Training Centre in 2001 where the internationally renowned group Ki-Yi M’bock works.
Liking’s work bears a close relationship to real life and incorporates important moments in her life. Liking’s works often cross numerous genres and explore the stylistic features that are present in oral traditions, such as praise-naming, proverbs, legends and myths.
Among Liking’s works, is the song-novel recounted by a misovire (a post-gender being), Elle sera de jaspe et de corail (1983) and her publications include Une Nouvelle Terre: Rituel theater (1987) and L'amour-cent-vies (1988), among others.
Liking received a Prince Claus Award in 2000 for her outstanding contributions to culture and society, and the Noma Award in 2005 for her book La Mémoire Amputée.