The 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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Boubacar Barry
Professor of History at the University of Dakar

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. A descendant of one of the two branches of the Almamate, Barry has taught and conducted research from his Dakar base since the 1960s. In addition to his volume, Bokar Biro published in the Ibrahima Kake series in French, English and Pulaar, he has collected an enormous range of sources critical to understanding this critical area. The texts in this small gallery are but a sample of these materials, and have been scanned by the technicians at WARC, the West African Research Center. Three of the five which we offer here come from French explorers who became intensely interested in Futa Jalon in the late 19th century. The Barry collection is extremely important, even more as a consequence of the impossibility of conducting research in Futa Jalon during the Sekou Toure presidency of Guinea (1958-84). For more information on Collection Boubacar Barry, read the background on the Barry collection.

Sampling from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN)

Phil Curtin Collection

Collection Boubacar Barry

Collection Charles Becker: Recherches et documents sur le Sida

Photographs from “Passport to Paradise’: Sufi Arts of Senegal and Beyond

Mosques of Bondoukou

Futa Toro, Senegal and Mauritania

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