At the end of the day we arrived in Dakar, and first discovered the city by night. We were hosted on a small island located very close to Dakar, we could reach it in a five minute boat trip. A mosaic artist welcomed us into her colourful home. Mosaics harmoniously covered everything, walls and floors. We had a quick tour on the tiny island of N’gor. There were three beaches on one side and a rocky cliff on the other. The island attracts the tourists coming from Dakar, they usually come to have a rest for a day. When the sun sets, the island calms down. As there is almost no light on the island, most of the tourists go back to Dakar by the end of the day.
A few days after we arrived in Dakar, we met Saadio. Saadio is in his fifties and welcomes us into his art studio. The painters life is constantly busy. During this first meeting, we had the chance to hear about his long self-taught journey. He has always fought to pursue his dream as a painter and has been a success showing his work in exhibitions throughout Los Angeles and Brussels.
For his first illustration, Saadio represented the love of a couple, the love that comes from the bottom of the heart. This time, when we suggested the theme “The Other”, he immediately thought of drawing a “Hogun”. The Hoguns are the leaders of the tribe called the Dogons. They still live on the fringe of society, in the high cliffs of Mali. To Saadio, it’s a way to represent the other as different, the other that doesn’t look like us. This tribe especially inspires him and he often uses their esoteric signs in his paintings.
From Senegal, we will keep a memory of a warm welcome among an “elastic family”. They integrate all newcomers, whoever they are, as quickly as we had been transformed into “Senegallics”.
“Whatever black or white, if you cut it, it’s red”.