With the exhibition My Life Began Several Centuries Ago, photographer and filmmaker Bouba Touré, together with artist Raphaël Grisey, addresses the question of how decolonial ecologies can be uncovered and made collectively fruitful.

For centuries, the relationship between Africa and Europe has been determined by a hegemonic system of exploitation in terms of a Western-influenced capitalist plantation logic. These colonial continuities and legacies perpetuate asymmetries of power that produce ever new forms of forced migration and displacement.

Bouba Touré and Raphaël Grisey create a hybrid and vibrant ecosystem of images that brings to light interconnections between the battlefields of Verdun, the precarious dormitories of African migrant workers in Paris, and the Malian village of Somankidi Coura.

The agricultural cooperative Somankidi Coura, founded in 1977 by former migrant workers and activists in France, became a symbol of self-empowerment: The cooperative's "return" to Mali, West Africa, resulted in reappropriation and the creation of a collective utopia based on friendship, solidarity, and care for the land, or, in Bouba Touré's words, in “the awakening of an African consciousness".