Hélène Amouzou: Figments of Identity

Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Hélène Amouzou knows something about that, and for a reason—she wasn’t always going to become an artist. 

Born in Togo in 1969, Ms. Amouzou embarked on the path of exile at age 23, following her husband. After a long stay in Germany and the birth of her daughter, she arrived in Brussels in October 1997. At that moment, Paul Éluard’s quote, “There is no happenstance, there are only encounters,” took on its full meaning, because Ms. Amouzou’s journey might not have existed to write about at all without a decisive meeting. In 2002, an Englishwoman of Nigerian origin who attended her church introduced her to video. “It was first through her that I wanted to learn video arts, the technical side as much as the theory. At the time, I was looking for an activity to keep me busy. In September 2004, I decided I wanted to enroll at the Académie de Dessin et des Arts Visuels de Molenbeek-Saint-Jean. I didn’t have a valid residency permit and was initially turned away. Determined to learn, I sought a meeting with the director, Thierry Zéno. Learning of my situation, he agreed to enroll me,” she recounts. (…)

By Gwennaëlle Gribaumont

The complete article appears in the 7th issue of MOYI – the 5th anniversary issue.