Maya Varichon El Zanaty

Egyptian through my mother, French and Vietnamese through my father, Parisian by birth and henceforth Senegalese by adoption. Throughout my university studies, I covered almost all disciplines in the area of Humanities, from History to Sociology, through Ethnology, Anthropology, the History of Art, Linguistics and Political Science. I have wanted to understand the world so as to be able to change it. During one of my study visits in Senegal in the early 2000s, I became acutely aware of the need to connect art to an understanding of society and its transformations. This profound belief has always stayed with me, as a guiding thread to all the experiments I have been conducting since then. Co-founder of Les Petites pierres, a publishing house for projects (a utopian organization determined to change the world one small step at a time), I undertook a wide variety of artistic investigations in the form of action-research, in collaboration with several organizations and artists, in order to challenge the role of art and its ability to reflect, generate and anticipate societal changes, by exploring areas of research such as art and commitment, changes in territories and urban identities, the role of art in daily life, and artistic creation in its collective, multidisciplinary, collaborative, participatory and performance dimensions. After many years of experience in cultural entrepreneurship, during which I occupied a broad range of functions, from production to communication to artistic direction, I find myself today, both as an independent consultant and as part of my personal research interest, involved in the areas of mediation and curation, ranging between contemporary art and societal inquiry.