Amoon na fi saxaar – expo

Il était une fois… le train

Photos par Cheikh Beye – Ndar Ndar Music & Café – Ile Nord Saint-Louis

Collaboration avec la Galerie Éthiopiques 18 février – 31 mars

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Le Thiessois Cheikh BEYE (décédé en 2015) commençait sa carrière comme photographe à Dakar en 1950. À partir de 1954 il était propriétaire et gérant de l’entreprise Euréka Photo à Thiès. Son oeuvre photographique consiste, entre autres, des portraits d’atelier mais également des photos de presse de la sphère politique, des événements sportifs etc.
Naturellement, dans la ville du rail, les cheminots et les activités autour de la gare figurent dans une grande partie de ses photos.

The Thiessois Cheikh BEYE (died in 2015) began his career as a photographer in Dakar in 1950. From 1954 he was owner and manager of the company Euréka Photo in Thiès. His photographic work includes, among other things, workshop portraits but also press photos from the political sphere, sporting events, etc. Naturally, in the city of rail, railway workers and activities around the station appear in a large part of his photos.

Maka-Diama

Right next to Diama on the Mauritanian border there is a small and picturesque village called Maka-Diama. We had a ride to the village today and visited a project that makes paper out of a weed called typha that grows by the Senegal river. This plant can be used for thatched roofs or cooking fuel, or even paper. In order to create better working conditions for the women who make paper out of typha, the NGO behind the initiative has build a house out of local materials. The building project started in April 2019 and the house is now proudly standing and almost ready to be used. Before operating fully as a work space and a show room, some finishing touches and interior decoration is now all it takes. In the future this beautiful  house will serve also as a meeting point for people interested in local crafts, ecological architecture and design.

The reddish earth that has been used for the bricks  has been brought here from near Dakar and we witnessed how the construction technique with silt provides an amazing cooling effect inside the house: when we entered the building we could immediately feel it. Next to the main building there is a separate lavatory in which the waste water is collected and processed to irrigate a garden of aromatic plants. So the workshops will not produce just paper but also soaps and aromatic oils. If you are on your way to or coming from Diama and crossing the Mauretanian border, do drop by in this beautiful small village. The village women can make you a delicious yassa poulet for lunch in no time at all and while waiting for your meal, you can visit the workshop and cool down in this beautiful house and perhaps buy some handmade paper and fragrant oils and soaps.

Going deep also in 2020

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Those of you who are going to be in Dakar and attend the Dak’Art Biennale, please mark your calendars for my exhibition Deep in Ngor. The exhibition takes place in Le Spot de Ngor, a very cozy venue where you can also have coffee and a healthy lunch, or find the latest gear for swimming and surfing. It is located in Ngor-Plage, a one-minute-walk from the beach so why not have a half-day off from the traffic jams of the city and dip yourself in the ocean as well?

Deep. Underwater photography, mixed media – Dak’Art Biennale OFF. May 28 – June 14, 2020.

 

It’s all about sand

I always wondered what the plural for the word “oasis” was.. and here is a re-blogged entry about one called Varess!

AFROPOLIS

Vares is a small oasis village close to Mhairith (أمحيرث) and hardly available for a virtual visit on Google Maps. As a prelude to the urban Nouakchott, where you see signs of nomadic lifestyle even in contemporary housing, I wanted to share a couple of photographs from this region where dates are produced and where the housing is amazingly practical and ecological. Here the buildings are designed either for a permanent occupation or more often for temporary shelter for the workers who live here during the harvest season. Everything is build from what you get from the surroundings and with very basic purpose: to provide shelter from sun, wind and sand. This is a very rocky environment, and yet there is also sand that moves and it does so constantly. You don’t necessarily want to fight it and so you build stone walls with holes in it that allow the…

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Open call for artists’ residency

Kristinestad Artists Residency_call 2020

Open call
 – Kristinestad, FINLAND August 2020: art, weaving and pottery

Kristinestad Artists’ Residency is a non-profit and artist/volunteer run programme in the idyllic wooden town of Kristinestad on the Finnish West coast. We are now inviting artists for a stay between 2 and 29 August 2020. Anyone wanting to make use of our weaving and pottery facilities is particularly welcome, but the programme is open to creatives of all art and craft disciplines.

If you are into nature, silence and slow living, this setting is for you. Resources and sources of inspiration also include vernacular architecture and traditional crafts. Looms, ceramics facilities, textile dyeing and lino cutting tools are available. Collaborations with the local community are possible, especially with schools. Exhibitions, shows, workshops etc. are encouraged.

We offer a variety of simple but comfortable accommodation options – mostly in traditional wooden buildings – and workspaces with wifi connection. Before and throughout the stay, residency hosts will be available for project research, linguistic assistance, finding materials and tools as well as establishing contacts locally. The residency fee is 600 Euro.
To apply, please send us an informal letter by email and tell us why you would like to come to Kristinestad and what you would like to do during your residency. We would like to hear from you by 15 March. The selection will be announced by 22 March.

For application instructions and more information, see our website http://www.kristinestadresidency.org

 

Crossing borders

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A shop in the oasis village of Varess.

There is only so much in a small Mauritanian boutique. Looks like a very healthy way of creating order in life with just a few cardboard boxes.

This is a short travelogue to begin this brand new year. I just took a Trarza minibus from Nouakchott to Saint-Louis and spent those three hours listening to old women babble in Hassanya and at times in a very animated accent in Wolof. They all laughed a lot and their tiny mobile phones kept ringing and since the mobile coverage was bad, they shouted into their phones and the calls would just drop and after each call there was this sudden silence for about thirty seconds. And it all started again. Half way on our route we had a stop for breakfast with a rather predictable menu: grilled meat, baguette and mint tea. No coffee in sight.

I had a small artist’s crisis lately with a thorough feeling that nobody is interested in what I do, at least not in this town anyway. Everybody seems to be more interested in just telling what they do.

When you cross borders here between countries, you are asked about your profession and I would answer: “artist,” or “artist photographer.” The border control then checks what they can find in their system based on what you had told them previously, or they write it up for future record. I always feel like I have committed a small crime having changed my profession from “commerçant” – that’s what stands on my residence card –  to “artist.” Now, crossing the border I again found this question a little intimidating and while the officer scrutinized my data with a very confused look on his face I thought it would have been so much easier to say “fisherman” or “pirogue owner.” Although I probably don’t look like neither. What if I said that I’m an “art residency coordinator?” They would probably choke in their mint tea, or just kick me out.

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Crossing the Senegal river from Rosso-Senegal to Rosso-Mauritania.

Back in Saint-Louis, after the usual hundred or so handshakes, the desert still lingers in my mind and I predict that this year I will go quieter about my art practice and will concentrate more on the actual work. Perhaps I will show some of that work in the summer, somewhere.

ABC in Wolof

Did you ever wonder why it matters to learn things in your mother tongue? And more so, to be able to also write it correctly? Many countries with colonial past still struggle with this and such is also the case of Senegal. We had the pleasure of hosting Clayton Junior, a designer from Brazil, at Waaw Centre for Art and Design for an art residency program and his project in collaboration with a local school in Saint-Louis is one very refreshing example of how art can contribute to pedagogical challenges. Please click on this link to access a video and read on!

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