22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Robinson Solo

Portrait Robinson Solo
© Hartwig Klappert

Ralhia Belle Sibylle Ntseket, alias Rahlia BS Solo, also known as Robinson Solo, was born in 1987 in Brazzaville, in the Republic of the Congo. She already discovered her passion for art early in life – first for painting, then for music and later for literature and poetry. She started by writing her own fairytales in which she created another reality and gave herself a different life. Whether poem or story, Solo writes in order to imagine a different reality, always with herself in it. She can be found in the words she writes – her life, her reality, her existence. Later in life, Solo wanted to study art, but this wish was denied her. Her uncle had a different career in mind and she studied law at the University of Marien Ngouabi in Brazzaville. Despite her initial disappointment, Solo managed to unite her love of art and justice, for which she had the same hunger as most of her compatriots. She describes the relationship between art and justice in the following citation: »The lawyer is, above all, an artist. The artist needs the lawyer and the lawyer needs the artist. We all came into this world as artists.« Solo continued to search for her path in life. She had a lot to say, and she wrote, but at the same time she had the feeling that what she was writing was not reaching enough people – until she discovered the spoken word poetry form called Slam. Talking about the importance of this art form for her, she has said: »Slam is my passport to freedom. A remedy with which I have learned to scar over my wounds, even if something will always remain. I have formed an alliance with my rights.«

Since 2008, this versatile artist has been taking part in numerous soirées, artist groups, festivals, social projects and other cultural events. In her rhythmic and striking texts one often finds her in conversation with a second person, in »Je souris« (tr: i smile),for example. She asks questions about love, memories and bonding with each other, about fear and vulnerability in the face of death, yet the poem also conveys an invincible courage to face life. As the title of another of her poems already suggests, »Effet-mer«, which hints at its homophone »éphémère« (tr: sea effect. Homonyme: ephemeral), wordplays and double meanings prevail. They serve to ease the heaviness of life, as she says, and images portraying change and growth convey the sense of life’s transience. Solo’s text titled »Mwassi« is a more than 15 page long narrative which later takes on the form of a letter. Creative and flowering with poetic language, she portrays the multi-facetted role of a woman caught between the forces of traditional expectations and personal passions.

Robinson solo lives in Brazzaville