BIOGRAPHY




BorisFamilleTanga


I am an anthropologist (PhD) and as such I have been exploring the intersecting fields of human sciences and cultural action with indigenous, peasant and urban communities on several continents for the past thirty years.

Combining anthropology and creative projects, I have carried out a series of innovative research and cultural action initiatives with communities of various sizes (from villages to large cities). In 1998, I founded ALTAMIRA, an international cultural action project for which I managed various human and musical adventures in Asia and Africa as well as in my home town of Saint-Denis in France. These projects have resulted in many films, records and live performances highlighting the cultural resources of the local participants.

I worked academically on the study of the social organization of a peasant locality in Madagascar and its relationship to the nation-state (PhD dissertation), and am now interested in the impact of family structures on human societies.

These multiple fields of action allow me to share a vision of humanity and the world nourished by what I have learned from the men and women I have met all over the world. 



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My musical works have been acclaimed by major french cultural magazines such as Télérama, Les Inrockuptibles, Mondomix, and rewarded by the prestigious Académie Charles Cros. 

Ten years of work with the City of Saint-Denis as a pilot of socio-cultural projects with the inhabitants led to the awarding by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health of the label Bien Vieillir Vivre Ensemble in 2010.

As an artist or as a lecturer, I have performed at the Quai Branly Museum, the Guimet Museum, the University of the Philippines, the Alliance Française in Paris, the Espace Senghor in Brussels, as well as in a multitude of nearby places (retirement homes, schools, hospitals, etc...). 





How do humans around the world live together and with their environment? What can we learn from these practices and experiences in order to better inhabit our planet, today and tomorrow? These are the questions that have guided me for more than 30 years in my geographical, cultural and human explorations.



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COLLECTIVE DYNAMICS 



My first and most important discovery was that of the social energy that can be produced by human groups through the organizing of collective events. I first realized it during a couple of days of music and dance in a small village in Zambia in 1992 : this decisive observation - how to generate an inclusive effervescence thanks to the contributions of all - has been at the heart of my 10 years of socio-cultural initiatives with the inhabitants of Saint-Denis.


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PEASANT ECOLOGY


My ethnomusicological stays in various indigenous communities have led me to become interested in the link between man and ecosystems, from tibetan nomads singing their work in the fields to tribal women in Mindanao turning their forest soundscape into music. 

I then studied in detail the agrarian ecosystem of the Malagasy Highlands and the social values that accompany it, notably in my documentary film Paysanne and my thesis at the EHESS.


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HUMAN DIVERSITY


Having lived in places as different as the Philippines, the Sahara, the Himalayas or the Upper Zambezi, and having carried out artistic projects with the inhabitants, I have been able to measure the variety of cultural differences produced by humanity, whether conscious or not, striking or subtle. 

Paradoxically, from this diversity emerges the unity of humankind and its universals, thanks to which we can act together as soon as we engage in common projects. 

The memorable residency in France of the tribal musicians of Lemhadong collective (Philippines), which I had the pleasure to organize, was an emblematic demonstration of this.



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SOCIETY, COMMUNITY, COLLECTIVITY


Fluvial royalty in Zambia, theocracy in the Himalayas, intervillage horizontality in Madagascar, pathogenic racial constructions in Rwanda, public service in search of social links in Seine-Saint-Denis: the various societies I approached from the inside allowed me to observe the issues of organization and flexibility, antagonism and solidarity, power and autonomy, which underlie the complex relationships between community and collectivity. 

Whether it is a matter of making a team cooperate effectively or building a fulfilling society for all, the diversity of collective experiences around the world and in history provides us with a valuable repertoire of enlightening ideas.


I explore some of these themes in the academic context.

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