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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An AODL Exclusive Interview
Phil Curtin
Conducted at his home, December, 2003

Excerpt from Interview: Curtin speaks about Maalik Sii and the foundation of Bundu:

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Excerpt from Interview: Curtin speaks about doing oral history:

During the interview sampled here, Curtin speaks of several publications. First, his main work on Senegambia, for which the Bundu material was quite critical: Economic Change in Precolonial Africa: Senegambia in the Era of the Slave Trade, Wisconsin, 1975, 2 volumes. Second, an earlier volume which he edited and published as Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade (Wisconsin, 1967); in that volume he wrote the chapter on Ayuba Diallo, a "noble man" from Bundu. Ayuba (Job) was engaged in commerce along the Gambia route in the 1720s, was captured and exported to Maryland in the Atlantic slave trade; in the 1730s he gained his freedom and returned to Gambia and Bundu; one book about him Curtin alludes to is The Fortunate Slave . And finally an article which resulted from some of the Bundu material, as told by the griots and other informants, and which he published as "The uses of oral tradition in Senegambia; Maalik Sii and the foundation of Bundu," Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, 1975.

His main collaborator in the trip to Bundu was the teacher, Hamady Amadu Sy, from the Sy or Sisibe family; it was his introductions to the family which Curtin followed and which gained him quite remarkable access to the family, although not necessarily to Bundu society as a whole.

Curtin was also a very active and important member of the African Studies Association at the time; he served on the Research Liaison Committee in 1965, and in that capacity went to West Africa while Bill Hance, a geographer, was going to East Africa. Curtin played the key role in creating the Oral Data Committee within ASA.

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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