Papajan, the Maori street artist committed to young people

Papajan, the Maori street artist committed to young people

Papajan, the only graffiti artist in Mayotte, began to speak on the walls of his house. When he is not scratching at home with friends or strangers, Papajan puts his works to the Cavani Stadium, where he tries to pass on his love of art to an idle youth. King of the resource, he collects material to paint in Kawéni, in order to continue his associative struggle with the perseverance and kindness that characterize him.

Graffiti artist Papajan is 48 years old. Arriving in Mayotte at the age of 7, he realized very early on that art would be an essential engine in his life. In 1998, he discovered graffiti on a trip. Since then he has made Maki, the endemic animal of Mayotte, his mascot. He places it all over the island.

This colorful character, who highlights his “rasta” identity, is famous for his many murals, made in Mayotte. Its first field of expression is its “box”, a real open-air museum. Like him, his visitors can express their thoughts on the walls of his house.

Wing from the 2000s, he began to paint the dreams of the inhabitants on the walls of the Cavani stadium in Mamoudzou. In Mayotte, 77% of the population lives below the poverty line. One third of the population still does not have running water. But Papajan is hopeful for young Maori. He continues to grapple in this neighborhood where violence has set in.

Thanks to his perseverance, Papajan realizes projects with associations. He finds the support of Mahorais committed to improving the daily lives of the islanders. There is a real shortage of paint supplies in Mayotte. He redoubles his ingenuity to supply himself and carry out his projects. Today Papajan has developed a whole network of coping, he does not feel supported by the government.

Wing Kaweni, he gives his time to the youth of this sensitive neighborhood, which he knows is neglected. Mayotte is the youngest department in France. Half of the population is under 18 years of age. Due to lack of space in schools, more than 5,000 children are out of school. Mayotte’s future is in the hands of the youth. Papajan wants to pass on to them what he holds most dear: his art. According to him, street art is: “Wass na Wass“.



A film written and directed by Sarah Almosnino

Production 909 PRODUCTIONS

With the support of the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image and the participation of France Televisions

Duration 13 min – Year 2022

Overseas street art is a web series that offers you to discover urban art in the Overseas. An artistic journey with this talented new generation. Find all episodes of Overseas Street Art by clicking here.

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