Passport to Paradise gallery highlights the bold, visual images found
all over Dakar by focusing upon the urban visual culture of the Mourides,
a Senegalese Sufi movement centered upon the life and teachings of
a local saint named Sheikh Amadou Bamba.
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Welcome to the African Online Digital Library Gallery section. The
following galleries are thematic and scholarly groupings of holdings from
within the AODL. To browse the galleries, choose a link from below.
The AODL also features a Gallery Generator,
allowing you to group your results into galleries you design. Select
options from the gallery criteria at the Gallery
Generator and click the "Build Gallery" button to construct
a gallery with those characteristics.
from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN)
Located in Dakar, Senegal, IFAN was founded in 1939 and is
the largest repository of Francophone West African culture and civilization
in Africa. IFAN is integrated with the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop
of Dakar (UCAD). We present here only a sample of the work currently
being undertaken at IFAN to digitize their vast collection. A complete
thematic gallery will be available beginning Fall, 2003.
Preview the upcoming gallery of images from years of fieldwork
from Dr. Phil Curtin's personal collection. He also agreed to sit
for an interview about this collection, and that interview will shortly
be part of the collection.
The Futa Jalon has long been the center of economic, political
and educational activity for the "far west" of West Africa,
stretching from the Ivory Coast in the southeast to Mauritania and
Mali in the north. The leading figure in collecting and publishing
historical materials on Futa Jalon is Boubacar Barry, Professor of
History at the University of Dakar.
Charles Becker: Recherches et documents sur le Sida
Charles Becker, Centre d'Etudes Africaines, Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
Renowned West African researcher Charles Becker has partnered with
the AODL to present highlights of his research online. The first selections
will be from his extensive work in AIDS research and the history of
Photographs from “Passport to Paradise’: Sufi Arts of
Senegal and Beyond
An exhibition created by the Fowler Museum of Cultural History
at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Passport to Paradise has been curated by Drs. Mary Nooter Roberts
(Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Fowler) and Allen F. Roberts
(Professor, UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures and Director,
James S. Coleman African Studies Center), and will be seen at the
Fowler from February through October 2003. These fifty photographs
were taken by the curators or by staff or friends of the Fowler,
and are used here with permission. The book Aura and Icon in Contemporary
Senegal (working title) by Allen F. Roberts and Mary Nooter Roberts
published in 2003 to accompany the exhibition will be distributed
by the University of Washington Press. A website launched in 2000
introduces the exhibition at http://www.fmch.ucla.edu/passporttoparadise.htm.
Dakar is a boldly visual city. Images abound, despite the fact that
Senegal is a largely Muslim country. The focus of “‘Passport
to Paradise’” is upon the urban visual culture of the
Mourides, a Senegalese Sufi movement centered upon the life and
teachings of a local saint named Sheikh Amadou Bamba (1853-1927).
Mouride visual culture includes “art” as that term is
understood in the West, but it comprises a far wider range of popular
expression from devotional icons to murals, advertising images to
drawings that protect and heal, cosmological architecture to abstract
paintings, illustrated web sites to souvenirs for tourists. Images
of Amadou Bamba actively convey his blessings, and the mystical
properties of these images provides Mourides with a “visual
piety” that lends structure to their lives.
In 1987 Ray Silverman, art historian at Michigan State, worked
in the community of Bondoukou, close to the border with Ghana. Bondoukou
is a predominantly Akan city, capital of the pre-colonial state
of Akan and part of the Asante Empire for considerable portions
of the 18th and 19th centuries. It has also been the home to a significant
Muslim minority, often called Juula. They were engaged especially
in internal trade along the long-distance routes between the north
(savanna) and south (forest). In this gallery he has given us sample
photographs of some of the mosques of Bondoukou and the environs;
you will note that the architecture of the mosques comes in two
styles: the older, more indigenous Sudanese style, which you can
find in such well-known savanna cities as Jenne, and a newer style
reminiscent of Saudi Arabia or Egypt, which often is favored by
those who have made the pilgrimage and studied in the Middle East.
history and culture of Futa Toro, Senegal and Mauritania
In 1968-9 David Robinson, historian at Michigan State, did intensive
interviewing in the middle valley of the Senegal River. This region
is more than 200 miles wide, from west to east, but only about 20
miles from north to south, comprising the two banks of the river
and the immediate hinterlands. In the 18th and 19th centuries this
area was called Futa Toro and was ruled by an imam or Almamy (al-imam).
Robinson‚s interviews describe the emergence of this Islamic
state, its varied fortunes in the 19th century and eventual conquest
by the French, and the Muslim culture for which it became known.
He used these interviews to write a book, Chiefs and Clerics. Abdul
Bokar Kane and the History of Futa Toro (Oxford, 1975), and then
team up with Mohammed Moustapha Kane to publish some excerpts from
these interviews in The Islamic Regime of Fuuta Tooro. An Anthology
of Oral Tradition Transcribed in Pulaar and Translated into English
(African Studies Center, Michigan State University, 1984). Today
Futa Toro is divided between Mauritania (the north bank) and Senegal
(the south bank).
from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN)
Phil Curtin Collection
Collection Boubacar Barry
Collection Charles Becker: Recherches et documents sur
Photographs from “Passport to Paradise’:
Sufi Arts of Senegal and Beyond
Mosques of Bondoukou
Toro, Senegal and Mauritania
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