The installations of Romuald Hazoumè (1962, Porto Novo, Benin) are often as humorous as they are politically charged. As well as containing unmistakeable cultural references, they also tackle global questions such as consumer society, modern slavery and oil extraction.
Hazoumè’s installation NGO SBOP (2011) was displayed in De Meelfabriek. The work revolves around the fictional NGO ‘Solidarité Béninoise pour Occidentaux en Péril’, an organisation established specifically to help Westerners in need. In the installation that contains a film by the same time, familiar social and political models are radically challenged. This creates surprising new perspectives on the relationship between Africans and Westerners.
Hazoumè uses jerry cans in NGO SBOP, an object that often appears in his work and which for him is a symbol of social and political tension. They represent global dependence on oil in general and the underground oil market in Benin more specifically. For Hazoumè, the logo of the Elf oil company symbolises the earlier colonisation of Benin by the French.
Romuald Hazoumè lives and works in Porto Novo, Benin.biography and practice