A unique and never-before-seen retrospective that charts over 30 years of Senegalese film, from the 1960s up to the 1980s, through images found on the reels of the audiovisual and information archive of the Senegalese Ministry of Culture and Communication.
The exhibition is a co-production between the Directorate of Cinematography of the Senegalese Ministry of Culture, the cultural association Atelier MamiWata and the French Institute, in collaboration with the Goethe Institut, the Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar and the Theodore Monod Museum of IFAN. The initiative is part of the parallel activities of the global recovery and restoration project of the National Archives of Senegal.
The project, which began in 2019 to highlight the necessity and urgency of a rapid intervention to save Senegal’s audiovisual heritage, is part of the measures to enhance the country’s cultural heritage and has made it possible to integrate the film material already digitized, thanks to the collaboration of the Toulouse Film Archive.
The production of the enabled the digitization of over 350 negatives out of the 130,000 kept at the Senegalese National Archive, which will be digitized and restored in the coming years, as will the rest of the audiovisual material contained in the archive.
The project will be presented at the Italian Cultural Institute of Dakar on 11 June 2021, in a conference-event that will see the participation of Baba Diop (journalist), Gianluca Farinelli, Cecilia Cenciarelli (Cineteca di Bologna), and Marco Lena (MamiWata Association). The event will also see the presentation of ‘L’ubriaco’ (The Drunk, 1961), the first film by Ababacar Samb Makharam, a pioneer of Senegalese film.
All the details of the exhibition and event can be found at iicdakar.esteri.it
The cover image is a negative found during the work to recover the collection of films and photographs (February 2020). The photo shows the directors Sembene Ousmane, Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, Ababacar Sarr Makharam and George Caristan. On 27 April 1966, Senegal won the prize awarded by the Municipality of Rome for the African state that most stood out for film production. The award was presented by the then Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Mario Zagari.