Artist: Catherine Dietl nee Robinson
*1967 Antananarivo, Madagascar
At the beginning of the nineties she came to Europe to study. After a few years in England, Switzerland and France, she settled down in Deisenhofen (Germany) in 1997.
<link typo3 www.myspace.com catherinedietlrobinson>www.myspace.com/catherinedietlrobinson
The bear, the Berlin emblem, sets off with its camera to explore Madagascar. His hosts are happy about this interest in their country and welcome the bear:"Tonga sao".
It's unavoidable that the presence of a stranger evokes the autochthons' curiosity. The maky (lemur), symbolic animal of Madagascar, seems to have come out of its hiding place. The look directed at somebody else implies the look at oneself. If during a tour of Madagascar the "vazaha" (European stranger) starts to reflect about his own way of life and his country, the autochthon will do the same.
This work is also a comment on the relationships on Madagascar: the ethnic diversity and the difference between Tanindrana, the people living on the coast, and the Ambany-andro (the people living in the Highlands).
The ethnic diversity is reflected in the different landscapes of Madagascar. By putting these contrasting landscapes together, the artist appeals to respect each individual's identity. A country can be weakened by ethnic rivalries or, on the contrary, be strengthened through solidarity. The saying "Ny mita-be, tsy lanin'ny mamba" is clear: If a crowd of people crosses the river together, crocodiles won't attack it, because the crowd makes so much noise that the crocodiles get scared and flee.
Catherine Dietl née Robinson