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This weekend I am presenting “Voyage à Dakar” at “Regards sur Cours”, an art festival at Gorée island. I developed an installation in the library of a former colonial house, Keur Khadija, which is now used as a children’s home. The children’s book “Leuk the Hare” written by Senegal’s first president Leopold Sedar Senghor, plays a special role in this installation: former school teacher El Hadji Mbengue, who lives at Gorée and grew up with the stories of Leuk the Hare, is reading the book.

This performance is combined with the projection of silent, poetic images of me and Noah Saliou who, together – against the migration flow – are crossing and connecting two continents.

It is interesting to present the work here in Senegal, where many people have mixed identities and shared their personal stories about Senegal, Africa and (be-)longing. Many people in Senegal know “Leuk the Hare” and shared their favorite stories. Also Noah Saliou’s grandparents came and loved to see the images and to hear the stories.

 

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Three weeks ago Noah Saliou and me moved to Dakar, and this taxi made us feel at home; the same car as I drove from Amsterdam to Dakar. Noah Saliou started school here: a big challenge for him. But he is very courageous and I am so proud of him ❤️
I will continue working on the Amsterdam Dakar road trip and start the research for a new project on the (post) colonial era in Senegal. We are both super excited!

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Till Friday, Noah and me will stay in the Torenkamer residency in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. I will continue working on the Amsterdam Dakar roadtrip and explore the theme of migration in a wider context. I will research the famous film Touki Bouki by Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty, on migration from Africa to Europe.
Read my blog on the residency here: Torenkamer (in Dutch).

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Also read the articles on Photoville Dutch Talent Featured at Photoville and “immigration more relevant than ever” in the Guardian.

Thanks to: Mondriaan Fund, Paradox, Dutch Culture USA, PHOTOVILLE.

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Graphic designer René Put has made a beautiful first draft edit for the book
Voyage à Dakar:

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Last view months I have been researching, writing and editing for the book publication of Voyage à Dakar icw producer Paradox and graphic designer René Put. We aim to publish the book in fall 2018.

Mercedes blue 2017A reunion with our Mercedes in Senegal! We are still in touch with the new owner of the car. Children broke the star from the hood of the car, it is painted blue, it has a Senegalese number plate and is still strong and running!

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Voyage a Dakar Mozaiek 1The work I made in Dakar, in collaboration with Senegalese photographer Selle is presented as an installation at Mozaiek in Amsterdam: a beautiful multicultural space in North African migrants neighborhood Bos & Lommer in Amsterdam. Eight screens are showing the photo montages Selle made and one screen is showing the interview with Selle on his work.

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Studio Selle Dakar 2017 07In Voyage à Dakar I focus on the connection between Europe and Africa. I took along the stories, but also literally baggage, photo’s and video material for families on both continents. The Senegalese photographer Selle made photo montages for migrants, using my portraits and photo’s from the migrants’ collections.

Inspired by his way of working and curious about collaborating, me and Selle together made a series of collages of film stills from the Amsterdam-Dakar journey.