Jandon Business of the Arts Distinguished Lecture: Marie-Cécile Zinsou
As part of our (T)HERE: Global Festival of Art, Culture, and Ideas, we welcome Marie-Cécile Zinsou to Purchase.
Zinsou is the Co-Founder and President of the Fondation Zinsou, founded in 2005 in Cotonou in Benin, West Africa. Four years ago, she opened the first museum of contemporary art in Benin.
Zinsou’s family was exiled from Benin at the time of her birth due to a Marixist-Leninist dictatorship, and so she visited Benin for the first time at 19. “We had spoken about Benin millions of times during my childhood with my great-uncle, who had been President of Benin and whom I call grandfather. I needed to go back home. I had grown up in an imaginary Benin in which I had never stepped foot…”
She went intending to stay two weeks, but has made Benin, her family’s homeland, her permanent residence ever since, working first briefly as a teacher and then establishing the foundation with her family.
The result is one of the one of the most rapidly expanding art museums in the world, as well as educational initiatives including six mini-libraries situated in underserved communities throughout Cotonou, Benin’s largest city.
Visit purchase.edu/globalfestival for further details.