Artist residence Le promesse dell'arte Istituto Italiano di Cultura Paris

March 2019


At the center of the project in Paris, the Marabouts who live and work here,

starting from the African quarter of Goutte-d'Or up to the Malian community of Croix de Chavaux in Montreuil. Starting point of a research that aims to range from the placebo effect of a simple illusion to the real alternative medicine. During the residency at the Institute I had the opportunity to deepen my work on the beliefs and on the habit of turning to a sorcerer to remedy his problems. On the persistence, in some communities, of the trust in this "alternative" method for the cure of every evil, both physical and psychological, of economic, family or sentimental nature...



Stories of Marabouts and Hunters of Mali in Paris.

Ilaria Crosta, resident at the Institute in the spring of 2019 realized a project on the marabouts in Paris and their practices, a reality on which suspicion and suspicion glance, rather closed and little incline to expose themselves to the external eyes to the community. Ilaria Crosta has come to establish exchanges and contacts that led her to pierce this reality much more complex than in appearance. Between divination practices and ancient recipes, from La Goutte d'Or to Montreuil, she approached the secret of answers to all kinds of problems, from heartbreaks to other evils. Starting point of a research that the exercise of rituals and magic formulas fed popular belief extends to the enlightened exercise of a true alternative medicine, based on knowledge of nature and ancient knowledge . Through photos of the places, the portraits of the marabouts and scholars met, the stories of the divination sessions, the transcription of recipes and a series of collected objects, we discover a world little known and astonishing that Ilaria Crosta has come to approach with respect and without prejudice and who has been able to tell with a range of narrative codes and appropriate languages, without limiting itself to the traditional documentary register.

Laura Serani





Project on-going 


On show at 19 June 2019 at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris