The works included in the exhibition held at the Stadthaus in Ulm (Germany) were also presented in Senegal in early 2015 in three stages: at two locations in Dakar – the Village des Arts and the Goethe-Institut Senegal – and at a third location in Saint-Louis.

The exhibition La photographie urbaine et la documentation de la vie, Sénégal et Mali [Urban Photography and Documenting Life in Senegal and Mali]

3-29 January 2015 at the Village des Arts, Dakar

The series of photographs by Fatoumata Diabaté entitled Sutigi. À nous la nuit [Sutigi – The Night is Ours] presents a collection of impressions of urban night life. Malika Diagana’s series Dakar Urban Life: Graffiti focuses on the city environment through an examination of cultural phenomena. The photographic project set up by Harandane Dicko for his series Rétroviseur [Rear-View Mirror], which involved riding a motorbike around African cities, produces a highly distinctive, reflexive approach to street photography that relies on an almost "philosophical" use of the rear-view mirror. Ibrahima Thiam offers a poetic perspective on small details of the city in his series L’usure du temps [The Effects of Time].

Amadou Sow’s series Taama Sira evokes the phenomenon of global migration. This theme is also explored in the work of Mamadou Gomis, but with the roles reversed, in his series Clin d’œil à Bilbao [A Glimpse of Bilbao]. In the series entitled Le Studio des vanités [The Studio of Vanities], Omar Victor Diop presents a portrait of a generation of creative people working in Dakar, offering us a detailed panorama of cultural life in the Senegalese capital. The series Portrait d’un mouvement citoyen [Portrait of a Citizens’ Movement] by Élise Fitte-Duval focuses on the events of June 23, 2011, documenting the hopes for democracy expressed by members of a civil society that was undergoing profound changes at the time. In her series Lutte traditionnelle [Traditional Wrestling] and Lutte [Wrestling], Fitte-Duval portrays a generation of young wrestlers in search of success in society, showing their training sessions as well as their daily lives, resulting in an innovative concept of portraiture.

The series by Djibril Sy entitled Liberia (2002) reaches beyond the standard image of press photography as serving an illustrative role or simply relaying information. Here, the devastating reality of civil war takes on a human dimension that transcends its context. Sy’s particular viewpoint on this situation produces powerful images, as is the case in his two other series, Religions and Sierra Leone. Emmanuel Bakary Daou’s series Forgeron [Blacksmith] takes us into a blacksmith’s forge in Mali, as he examines the theme of families and the issue of the social status of blacksmiths and describes their world in pictures.

This exhibition attracted strong interest and met with a positive response in the local press in Dakar.

Le village des arts

Review by Ibrahima Ba in Le Soleil, Dakar

Opening of the exhibition Photographie et environnement [Photography and Environment], 18 January 2015 at the Goethe-Institut, Dakar

Many photographers in Senegal show an interest in environmental subjects and a desire to use their work to help raise awareness of problems relating to natural resources. Their photographs depict nature as a source of spirituality and a place of symbolic significance. People and their environments are given equal importance in these photographs, highlighting the vital interrelationship between man and the environment and calling attention to the potential dangers for the future of humanity if this interdependence is destroyed. The medium of photography examines this theme through an exploration of different artistic languages, while reaffirming the role that photographers can play in society. In this way, photography can be seen as both an image and a reflection, thus making use of the reflexive dimension of the medium – while photography can reproduce reality, it can also create dreams, raise questions, portray distorted images and even express playful utopian fantasies.

This exhibition featured photographic series by the following four artists:

Ibrahima Thiam’s Reflections series explores the subject of floods in Saint-Louis.

In Angelina Nwachukwu’s black and white series entitled Landscapes, the photographer inquires into our relationship with nature by focusing on disconcerting details.

In his series Fashion 2112: The Future of Beauty, Omar Victor Diop uses a studio setting to create entertaining and humorous interpretations of the subject of our use of the earth’s resources.

Djibril Sy, in his Still Life: Water Song series, offers a poetic reflection on water as a vital resource.

Pictures of the opening: here