Illuminer L’en Commun (Illuminate The Common)

by Kër Thiossane

Since 2014, Kër Thiossane has been working with the Centre de Promotion et de Réinsertion Sociale (CPRS), a neighboring community center that offers vocational training to young women aged 14-20. Over the past eight years, the two organizations have offered students an array of courses on cooking, textile arts, permaculture, and design.

For Suñu Jant, Kër Thiossane will develop a performative and multifaceted work entitled Illuminate the Common. The project will be the culmination of a series of workshops for CPRS’ advanced students hosted by artists Claire Eliot, Doulsy-Jah Gal, and Klaus Löhmann at Kër Thiossane’s fabrication lab, Defko Ak Nëp (Do It With Others). Illuminate the Common will feature prototypes for solar paving stones made of recycled plastic; the reactivation of an interactive and luminous Baobab tree; and a fashion show of clothes and accessories integrating photovoltaic ribbons that function as personal solar-powered lighting systems and charging stations.

Illuminate the Common is a playful and interactive proposal at the crossroads of design, recycling (plastic & electronic), and solar energy, to better anchor these issues in public space.


A cultural space for the artistic and civic imagination, Kër Thiossane has focused its activities since 2002 on art, new technology, and what they imply in society.

In 2014, Kër Thiossane initiated the School of Commons, an open transdisciplinary research and experimentation space combining art, technology, urban ecology, economy, and neighborhood practice. Located in a former public park in a run-down area, the school revolves around the first fabrication lab in Dakar, Defko Ak Nëp (Do it with Others), a space for sharing digital manufacturing machines with the goal of making culture accessible and prioritizing the public good. The school also includes an artistic garden that received the Human City Design Award in 2020.

More Artworks

Jantu Guddi (Sun Of The Night) is a large-scale, solar-powered installation that doubles as a hub for artistic programs that explore notions of sustainability in Senegalese tradition and mythology. Learn more.
Leer Nañ (Spotlight) is a community garden project by Yataal Art at the Soumbédioune elementary school in the historical district of the Medina. Learn more.