CreateUp Project Interview Series: An interview with Moïse Togo to understand key competences in the artistic domain

CreateUp Project Interview Series: An interview with Moïse Togo to understand key competences in the artistic domain

Dec 27, 2023

Good governance

This encounter unfolded within the framework of the Create Up project, spearheaded by the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA). As part of this research endeavour, the Create Up consortium conducted interviews and sought out key artistic profiles as case studies to construct an ideal framework. Moïse Togo is a rising artist engaged in the realms of cinematography, design, and video production: exploring his narrative and staying abreast of his professional journey proved to be an enriching experience. The focus of our interview centred on identifying the essential skills that a budding artist must cultivate to undergo a transformative journey into entrepreneurship, sustaining themselves solely on their artistic prowess.

The objective of the Create Up project is to investigate the essential competencies required for a young artist to thrive in their specific field. While it is commonly believed that originality, talent, and innovative ideas are pivotal assets for an artist’s success, the project seeks to explore whether additional competencies play a crucial role in navigating the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs and achieving success. To gain insights into this matter, we interviewed Moïse, who shared his personal perspective on his artistic journey

This initiative not only seeks to understand the nuances of artistic success but also endeavours to equip emerging artists with the knowledge and skills vital for navigating the challenging terrain of their chosen fields.

Moïse Togo, a burgeoning director and visual artist hailing from Mali, embarked on his creative journey with an unconventional start. Initially serving as a consultant for an international humanitarian organisation in Mali, he transitioned to the realm of visual arts after securing a scholarship to study at Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains in Tourcoing (France).

In 2020, Moïse conceptualised a project addressing the plight of albino individuals in Africa, which gained approval from Fresnoy and materialised into the documentary 75000$. This remarkable piece garnered acclaim at various festivals and events, solidifying Moïse’s success. The documentary delves into the nexus between “the perceptible and imperceptible, the visible and invisible” (Togo, 2023), shedding light on the unknown world of albinism in African societies. The title, 75000$, alludes to the disturbing market value of a complete albino skeleton, as noted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Moïse delves into the alarming reality that albinos exist as invisible outcasts in society, facing genuine fears and potential threats to their lives. This documentary is an original and compelling documentary that not only explores a societal issue but also showcases Moïse Togo’s growth as a director and visual creator.

Moïse identified key competences for professional growth in the artistic field domain

From the portfolio of possible entrepreneurship competencies that an artist could have and need when starting his own career path, Moïse highlighted the significance of his transition from Mali to France. While working as a visual arts consultant in Mali provided him with a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, the monthly scholarship of 500€ in France presented financial constraints. However, the institute in France not only offered valuable experience but also paved the way for a specific career. Reflecting on his journey as a young director, Moïse identified key milestones for professional growth:

  • Understanding the Art Scene: the importance of comprehending the state of art in the country where an artist operates in order for the artist to identify opportunities, such as participating in festivals that offer prizes, funds, and scholarships, which will not only contribute to the artist’s prestige and connections but also serve as crucial income sources.
  • Skill Diversification: Moïse stressed the significance of expanding an artist’s skill set to create a versatile profile.
  • Networking and Learning from Others: Building a network of contacts and learning from the experiences of fellow professionals is indispensable.
  • Project Management: project management skills and creativity are both important. 
  • IT and Digital Competencies: In an era where digital skills are increasingly important, Moïse emphasised the relevance of IT and digital competencies.
  • Versatility: Maintaining a versatile mindset is crucial for artists. It enables them to work on multiple projects, effectively manage their time, overcome setbacks, and protect their ideas.

In Moïse’s perspective, a well-rounded artistic profile encompasses not only original ideas but also strong project management and development skills.

More case studies of creative people and companies will follow on the Create Up Website.

For more information about the Create Up project, click here.