Kamelinmaitoa

Kosam ngelooba.

Tergit, 2020.

Kamelinmaidon ihmeistä ei voi koskaan kirjoittaa tarpeeksi, aavikon porukathan pärjää sillä muutaman kuukauden vaikka muuta ruokaa ei olisi tarjolla. Täällä sitä onneksi saa kausiluontoisesti parista pöllikaupasta ja ihan ympäri vuoden yhdeltä katukauppiaalta, joka tekee päivittäisen kävelykierroksensa ympäri saarta muovista maitotonkkaa kantaen. Éthiopiques-gallerian yhteydessä toimivassa kahvilassammekin sitä saa. Kamelinmaito eli kosam ngelooba (wolofiksi soowu gëleem) maistuu useimmiten aavistuksen ruoholle, tai ehkä lähempänä totuutta akaasianlehdille, sehän on kamelien peruskauraa täällä päin.

Omasta pöllikaupasta saa vuohenjuustoakin, mutta ruoka-aiheisen oppituntimme aikana ei ehtinyt käydä ilmi, mitä juusto on pulaariksi. Tämä heti selvitykseen seuraavalla kauppareissulla. Jo yksistään maidosta puhuttaessa saa olla hetimiten määrittelemässä vähän tarkemmin, minkälaisesta tuotteesta kulloinkin puhutaan: kosam on kondensoitua maitoa, jota lusikoidaan mm. aamukahvin sekaan, kosam kaaɗɗam on sitten sitä perinteistä lehmänmaitoa. Meew on maitopulveripohjaista maitoa, jota myydään hauskasti maalatuissa pikku kojuissa kadunkulmissa.

Paikallisista jogurteista tykkään Arɗosta, eli “klaanin päällikkö” ja samalla se on kuulemma erisnimikin, joka juontuu verbistä ardaade, johtaa, olla joukon etunenässä. Ei hullumpi nimi. Verbin juuri arde puolestaan kääntyy: tulla, saapua. 

Kun tuoremaidosta puhutaan, parasta ennen -myyntipäivän kanssa saa olla tarkkana. Varsinkin sadeaikaan, jolloin on sähkökatkoja tavallista useammin, kylmäketju saattaa helposti katketa ja kannen alla odottaa ei-kovin-ylevä klaanipäällikkö vaan klimppinen yllätys. Tästä, kuten monesta muustakin ruoka-aineesta voi seurauksena olla ndogu reedu, eli tilanne jossa “vatsa juoksee”, reedam dogat. Tästäkin syystä se pastöroimaton kamelinmaito on monesti varmempi valinta!

You have just read a short blog entry about camel milk in Finnish. For entries in English, please click here

Human train

This post falls into the the nostalgia department with a few photographs from the flashmob we organized quite many years back (see my prevous post). These images were all I was able to dig up from an archive, unfortunately the video material that I shot that day is corrupted. Our external servers, flash memory cards, cloud servers, mobile phones and what not are inundated with visual material that we have documented over the years, but for how long will they remain usable, after all? The more I think of it, the more I would like to go back and promote the old school film photography and other alternative printing methods… well, that’s not news!

The railway tracks are still there, the market crowds are still there, even the station building is still there, but for how long?

Cheikh Beye

I’ve always had a soft spot for railways, trains, railway bridges and particularly that noise under the bridge when a train passes… I just love the comfort of this most beautiful way of traveling. It is such a shame that the connection between Saint-Louis and Dakar has been lost, for decades now. Some years ago we created a flash mob with local youth and wanted to remind everyone, particularly the decision makers of the municipality, that the town owns a beautiful station building that is falling apart and has been swallowed up by the local market. This beautiful building could be maintained and – ideally – put into good use with and by local cultural actors. We handed out tickets in advance to the train that would arrive on one Saturday morning from New York (!) on its way to Dakar. Then our actual human train would arrive and perform theater and dance at the entrance of the station. I remember that some market sellers were genuinely a little alarmed in advance because their mountains of onions would literally be on the tracks, right where they had always been for years. Perhaps it would be a good time to create a flash mob Edition II with something much more dramatic, as our first attempt went unnoticed by the city hall. We did have fun with the crowds at the market though.

Here’s a few more photos from the gallery space and the current exhibition: photography by Cheikh Beye. It’s so good to have the gallery open again!

Fragments of the work of Cheikh Beye

Cheikh BEYE (1932 – 2012) from Thiès began his career as a photographer in Dakar in 1950. From 1954 he was the manager of the company Euréka-Photo in Thiès.

His photographic work consists, among others, of studio portraits but also press photos of the political sphere, sporting events etc. Naturally, in the city of railways, workers and the activities around the station figure in a large part of his photos.

We would like to thank the Beye family in Thiès for allowing us to show this work.

Fragments de l’oeuvre de Cheikh Beye

Le Thiessois Cheikh BEYE (1932 – 2012) commençait sa carrière comme photographe à Dakar en 1950. À partir de 1954 il était 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.

Nous remercions la famille Beye à Thiès.

Galerie Éthiopique organizes exhibitions, end-of-residency events and film screenings at Rue Potin X Abdoulaye Seck Marie Parsine in Saint-Louis of Senegal. More information: Tel. +221 77 143 88 90 or info[at]ethiopiques.gallery

Artwork, or art and work

In the recent times, co-working spaces have become more and more popular, and especially now with the Covid-19 pandemic, as many hotels have seen best to transform their venues to facilitate work from distance. Covid or not, a comfortable and well-located space for work with a wifi connection has been lacking on the island of Saint-Louis for a long time, but the wind of change has arrived!

We decided to dedicate part of the Galerie Éthiopiques to cater for those visitors who would like to sit down for a coffee, or better, who would like to stretch their coffee break or gallery visit with bright, relaxing and peaceful co-working environmement. For the purpose, one local wood workshop made us wide and solid chairs that aspire the local craftmanship. The chairs are designed by Staffan Martikainen. The new episode of our gallery is unfolding day by day!

Galerie Éthiopique organizes exhibitions, end-of-residency events and film screenings at Rue Potin X Abdoulaye Seck Marie Parsine in Saint-Louis of Senegal. More information: Tel. +221 77 143 88 90 or info[at]ethiopiques.gallery

Dangerous liaisons

With the opening day approaching, this is just one of those posts with which I wanted to immortalize online so that we can look back at it and remember what things looked like on the day we moved in. It took some three days for the local electricity company to replace old cables and wires and sockets so that our customers will be able to aliment their laptops and mobiles in the co-workin area and cafeteria. A few more finishing touches and we are ready! 

Art happens. And nothing can stop it.

Galerie Éthiopique organizes exhibitions, end-of-residency events and film screenings at Rue Potin X Abdoulaye Seck Marie Parsine in Saint-Louis of Senegal. More information: Tel. +221 77 143 88 90 or info[at]ethiopiques.gallery