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Foster’s World: Seeing Ga Mashie from Child Perspective

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Foster Malm, 13, moves through one of Jamestown’s bustling markets with remarkable ease. Black iPhone covertly at the ready, he shoots off the hip, capturing unexpected market-goers moving through daily life. Although barely audible over the usual market place chatter, the camera shutter sounds off like rapid fire: close-ups of fresh tomatoes and onions, action…

Dakar and Gorée Island: Linking history, tourism and local economies

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With its just over one thousand residents, Gorée Island sits two kilometers (1.2 miles) off the coast of Dakar, Senegal. For tourists, the small island is a recognized cultural destination and UNESCO World Heritage site, based on its famed history as a slave-trading station as part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. But for island’s residents and businesses, it’s…

In Dakar, a graffiti festival connects artists, cultures and ideas

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For 10 days in April, graffiti artists from around the world gathered in Dakar, Senegal for the fifth annual Festigraff, the Festival international de Graffiti en Afrique/Senegal. While the term “graffiti” can carry a negative connotation, spray can art is Dakar’s most ubiquitous urban art expression, ranging from vandalism to approved and encouraged art. As…

Dakar: A city full of color

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Here in Dakar, it seems that the entire urban landscape is full of color: The walls, the sidewalks, the transport, houses and buildings, as well as the bright clothes of urban dwellers themselves. For example, the bright contrast between the light brown sands of this Sahelian city and the azure sky. The walls dressed in…

Dakar: Who wouldn’t love a city with all this graffiti and wall art?

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Bonjour de Dakar! Here, graffiti is everywhere; it’s as if every wall is an opportunity for artistic, political and/or social statement. The more you look, the more you can learn about the city, its people, and their sentiments. It’s my first day in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and one of the first things that…

Bread, bread and more bread in East Akim

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So one of many things I have in common with Ghanaians is my love for bread. After a meeting at the East Akim Municipal Assembly in Kibi today, a colleague led me to a totally hidden gem behind the Assembly’s office. Up a small hill, and following a sort of winding, man-made path, I found…

What about Africa’s rural communities?

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When we talk about African urbanism, we often forget (or neglect) the inextricable linkages between Africa’s towns and cities and the (still very prominent) rural areas. That aluguntugui (sour sap) that we buy in the market, the yam, the cassava, the plantain, where does it come from?

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