Karim received a grant to help him study at the Académie Internationale de la Danse. 

What is your artistic background ?
I started dancing at the age of eight in the streets. In 2014, I left my family, who were opposed to my practice, and arrived in Bissau in 2016. I then joined the Nétos de Bandim troupe, with whom I travelled to Senegal and Portugal, from where I left for Paris in 2017. With l'Atelier des Artistes en Exil, I took part in the shows Va Voir Là-Bas Si J'y Suisby Thierry Thieû Niang and Non, Je ne Prendrai pas la Méditerranéeby Kevin Kimbengui, then I took a hip-hop training course with Bouba Colors and performed with the group Trio d'Afrique.   

How do you see your profession today ?
I faced hardships because of dancing, and I had to leave my country. However, dance means everything to me. It's a way for me to express myself and no longer think about the difficulties. Dance helps me a lot and without it nothing would be the same.   

How do you see yourself in five years ? In 10 years ?
My ambition is to become a dance teacher once I have graduated from the Dance Academy. Within 10 years, I hope to be able to develop my projects and become an independent artist.


This interview was conducted in 2020
Photo credit: Kamila K. Stanley