Visit of 5 spaces/projects in Dakar and its surroundings :
by bus, all the participants visited :
Deffart (a private Senegalese non profit association) is a contemporary art gallery created by Khadiga Sow, a young Senegalese artist, and François. Also, five artists are involved in the development of the space.
Deffart is a private house which belongs to Khadiga Sow’s family, called Deffa ( "deff" means "to do", hence the name of the gallery "to do art"). Officially, Deffart opens during the biennial Dak’Art ; the project is still young, it was launched six months ago but was designed more than two years ago. Dedicated to visual arts and fashion, Deffart wants to open its doors to European residencies. A yard is currently being developed to host dance performances and fashion shows.
Cacao is a West African contemporary art centre led by Koyo Ko. Spurred by an African association for contemporary culture, Cacao is located in an old textile factory (Tricocel) that is gracefully put at the Koyo Ko’s disposal (in particular water and electricity). Near the factory, a house is being renovated to become an artist/project residency venue. Activities include exhibitions, training to cultural journalism and editing. Koyo Ko wants to develop a resources centre for contemporary creativity in Africa, initiate outside educational projects and cooperation with the inhabitants. Cacao opened the space thanks to the exhibition for the biennial financed by a US funds.
L’Empire des Enfants
L’Empire was founded by Anta M’Bow and Valérie Schlumberger.
It consists of an educational project, a hosting service destined for Dakar’s homeless children and an educational venue intended for children with learning disability. Art is used as an integration tool. Children can stay several nights and sometimes (according to L’Empire’s resources) eat but they usually come to sleep, take a shower and get involved in artistic educational activities.
Unfortunately, L’Empire has not been granted authorisation to host the children. It is still striving to be recognised.
All members work on a voluntary basis except the cook/maid. L’Empire hosts nearly 100 to 150 children per day.
The place is supported by various charities such as ENDA. It is located within a lovely old cinema theatre with an open-air space where charity shows take place.
It was inaugurated on 17 March 2003.
L’Ecole des Sables
L’Ecole des Sables was founded by Germaine Acogny, a choreographer, and Helmut Volgt, her husband.
This venue was built by the Architecture et Développement organisation with materials found on site (volcanic earth, etc.). It is located in Toubab Dialaw, a charming city by the sea, within an hour of Dakar.
Private bungalows for in-house dancers
20-square-meter studios for teachers
An open-air covered room
A charming tent for shows
A dining room
A conference room
... as well as other prospective spaces.
The official inauguration took place in June 2004. The name Ecole des Sables, i.e. “The School of Sands”, was found after the sand ground of the tent hosting the shows. Its main activities include hosting international dance companies (e.g. last year Dasart, a Dutch artist, gathered 20 dancers, of which ten Africans promoted ten Europeans), occupational training and African practices. The project is supported by the Ford Foundation, the European Union and private foundations.
To conclude the day, a few portraits...
- Oumar Sall du Groupe Trente
- Ezzedine Gannoum de El Hamra à Tunis