If African artists are among the big losers in the current economic crisis, those living and working in France are no better. Many remain of the aid mechanisms for artists established by the state. This is according to a study commissioned by Moca, the Forum of African and Diaspora Cultures in France.
The impact of the pandemic has been severe for Afro-French artists and cultural figures and the diaspora. “I come out of a literary re-entry where I was on promotion, and then everything ends. Completely. Fortunately, we invent or reinvent methods, and therefore we compensate with something else. ”
As the novelist and slammer of Cameroonian origin, Captain Alexander, there are thousands who have been forced to reinvent themselves in a hurry. Captain Alexandre is also a coach and he teaches online. An activity that has tripled in recent months. But not everyone has this ability to bounce back. According to a survey conducted by Moca, the Forum of African and Diaspora Cultures in France, 55% of the artists in question had no extra income this year. “79% have lost between ten and fifty thousand euros in income. They say very clearly: it’s easy, we have problems paying our rents, we have problems eating. “, Reports Alain Bidjeck, CEO of Moca and initiator of the study on the impact of the crisis. in artistic circles in the diaspora.
However, the French state has introduced support measures for artists. 80% of the cultural actors in the diaspora have heard of it. But they often hesitate to slam the doors of the administration. “Many artists have this in common: to be a little dumped when it comes to administrative matters,” says Captain Alexandre. Me, I have not thought about it yet, but it is really something I should do, try to overcome this inability to ask myself to solve administrative issues! ”
According to Alain Bidjeck, 80% of the actors in the diaspora have not received any help, often for lack of asking for it: “An artist, when he has to fill in files, generally thinks that the language is extremely complex. So imagine a diaspora or Afro-French artist …. Those who grew up here or who are French may have some form of familiarity, but for those who are African, even newly arrived, we realize that this remains a different language for them. “
The solution is undoubtedly to simplify administrative procedures, believes the director of Moca, but artists must also make an effort to get involved in the ecosystem in their profession: “I think it is important for them to go more into the sectors, into the systems. , go discuss with Sacem (Society of Songwriters, editor’s note), with professional organizations, because it is also with them that they will be able to find solutions. “
42% of the artists surveyed by the Forum of African and Diaspora Cultures have already been forced to suspend all activity this year due to cancellations of shows and festivals. And as Alain Bidjeck emphasizes, it is a loss that is at the same time human, artistic and also economic for the entire profession.