Abstract

In 1978, Cameroonian author and playwright Werewere Liking moved to Abidjan, Côte-d'lvoire where she was able to find an artistic freedom and energy that was not possible at the time in her native Cameroon. In Abidjan, she created the artistic center and residence known as Villa Ki-Yi, a haven for both well-established and budding artists in need of a place to refine their art within a supportive community. Over the years, goals for the center evolved as Liking sought to fight social injustice through combining activism and the arts. The Village Ki-yi, as it is known today, is influenced by African matriarchal traditions, although it is surrounded by the realities of a patriarchal world, and these traditions come into play in its organization and mission. Liking is not only the mother of ideas at the Village, but also of the poor, marginalized, and sometimes abandoned or orphaned children whom she literally gathers in the streets of Abidjan, giving them a home and a future. This essay analyzes Liking's creative accomplishments using feminist theories pertaining to performance, literature, and activism, demonstrating how Liking is an agent for social justice and change on the African continent.

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