Bessengue B’Etoukoa, Cameroon, Douala

BEtoukoa by The Trinity Session x7

Bessengue B’ Etoukoa by The Trinity Session.

As originally conceived and commissioned for Across the Board: Public Space/ Public Sphere, 2013. Organised by Tate Modern and Doual’art. Supported by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.


The reanimation of public space in Valee Bassengue (Douala, Cameroon); where a modest bridge and communal water-pump, have served to strengthen social, economic and religious practices in and around the area, provided a starting point for Hobbs/Neustetter’s consideration of an appropriate site for a temporary intervention for the Sud Trienniel. The dynamic presence of ‘Thomas Fashion’ within the location (Thomas, a coiffure born and bred in Douala) offers an iconic site of social and creative production.

Following a series of interviews and site walks with Thomas in and around his neighbourhood; meeting his 90 year old mother – the source of much of his drive and motivation, friends and special places – it became clear that Thomas the person and stylist is central to the continuity of social and personal life in the area.

For Hobbs/Neustetter the balance between site and people specificity was enhanced by Thomas’ sustained connection to the landscape, combined with his myriad creative talents – enabled an idea for a performative collaboration and event.

Over a period of five days, a select group of ‘actors’ chosen by Thomas for their particular life journeys, inspired a varied range of hair and fashion styles – worn for photo shoots in the landscape, in-turn evolving into an elaborate nighttime fashion spectacle.

The post performance version of this project exists as a large scale multiple video screen installation on exhibition at the Museum of African Design in the Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, until 28 June 2015


BEtoukoa by The Trinity Session x2

BEtoukoa by The Trinity Session x3

BEtoukoa by The Trinity Session x4

BEtoukoa by The Trinity Session x5

BEtoukoa by The Trinity Session x6