Dakar establishing itself as a world vacation spot for the artistic industries

Dakar establishing itself as a world vacation spot for the artistic industries
Skateboarders in Dakar, Senegal

Skate boarders in Dakar, Senegal

By chook story company

Flush with success from investing in sports activities and the humanities, Senegal’s cultural capital appears to know no bounds. Dakar now boasts an array of vogue, tradition and heritage platforms which can be drawing international curiosity.

On 6 December 2022, Chanel, one of many world’s main luxurious manufacturers, organised a three-day cultural program in Senegal, the Chanel Métiers d’Artwork present. This was the inaugural runway present for the high fashion model on African soil.

Whereas the present has beforehand been held in New York, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo and Rome, Chanel selected Dakar for its African debut.

“By selecting Dakar, the home needs to make the savoir-faire of its métiers d’artwork resonate with the creative and cultural vitality of town,” the model mentioned in a press release.

Of the 62 fashions within the present, 19 have been African, with 12 being Senegalese fashions.

The Métiers d’Artwork present attracted over 800 friends, together with Pharrell Williams, Naomi Campbell, Nile Rodgers and Princess Caroline of Monaco.

“I’m not stunned that Chanel got here to Dakar. Different large names with respected artistic services are already established right here,” mentioned Oumy Régina Sambou, president of the Senegalese Affiliation of Cultural Press Publishers and director of the Africultural company.

The nation’s home vogue business has produced world-renowned labels like Tongoro, Selly Raby Kane, Diarrablu, and Adama Paris and attracted overseas manufacturers like Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Levis, which have their shops within the capital.

Chanel’s Métiers d’Artwork adopted on the heels of Dakar vogue week, Africa’s longest-running vogue occasion, which came about between the two and 4 of December on the historic island of Gorée.

The Twentieth-anniversary version introduced the collections of 20 designers from round Africa, together with broadly accoladed names like Mantsho (South Africa), Oumou Sy (Senegal), Karim Tassi (Morocco), Awa Meite (Mali), Tina Lobondi (Congo), and Emmy Kasbit (Nigeria).

Barely every week earlier than the occasion, the third version of the Dakar Carnival came about between the 25 and 27 November on the Blaise Senghor Cultural Centre.

The occasion, which goals to rival the nice carnival of Rio, Brazil, was organised in partnership with the Senegalese ministry of tradition and town of Dakar. A whole lot of artists paraded by means of the streets to showcase and promote cultural range.

The presence of African nationals from Cape Verde, Nigeria, Gambia, and Côte d’Ivoire, amongst others, on the carnival cemented town’s id as a melting pot of peoples.

“Throughout occasions like Dakar Carnival, foreigners are welcomed with open arms and are given help and services to take part within the programme. On the political degree, completely different mechanisms are put in place to encourage native artists and occasion promoters,” mentioned Sambou.

The Ministry of Tradition and Heritage rewarded not less than 1o artistic contributors on the Dakar Carnival with 10,000,000 CFA francs ($16,000) for his or her contribution to creating Senegalese tradition.

Public funding into native human capital, together with within the arts and in sport (town is host to model new basketball services, among the finest on the continent, and a state-of-the-art 50,000-seat soccer stadium) has been a essential pillar for successive post-colonial governments.

“There was a superb cultural coverage developed by President Leopold Senghor. Troops and creative firms accompanied him on nearly all his financial excursions. That is how Senegal, particularly its capital, established its popularity as a cultural hub,” defined Sambou.

Nevertheless, Dakar’s roots as a cultural capital go deeper. Town is certainly one of 22 cities on 5 continents recognised as UNESCO Artistic Cities of Media Arts.

“Dakar has at all times been a spot of tradition, even manner earlier than independence. That is why it has many cultural infrastructures and has hosted main occasions comparable to the primary World Pageant of Black Arts in 1966,” Sambou mentioned.

Huge names comparable to Michael Jackson with the Jackson 5, the jazz pianist Randy Weston, and Danny Glover, amongst others, have made their manner right here to expertise town. Nice creative homes such because the Dapper museum have additionally arrange initiatives in Dakar,” she added.

Other than vogue and tradition, artwork has additionally added to town’s vibrancy.

In June 2022, the 14th version of the Biennale of Modern African Artwork, dubbed Dak’Artwork, the continent’s largest modern artwork occasion, returned to town following a Covid-induced hiatus.

Funded principally by Senegal’s authorities, the official programme featured 59 artists from 28 nations – 16 African nations and 12 from the diaspora.

Nevertheless, lots of of artists from all over the world showcased their works in over 400 different areas (together with accommodations and restaurant partitions) round Dakar and all through Senegal.

“Kehinde Wiley, the Nigerian-American visible artist and Obama’s portraitist, funded the refurbishment of a cultural centre within the Medina neighbourhood. Right here, he held an exhibition of 40 artists who had made an inventive retreat at Black Rock, the residency he based in 2019,” mentioned Sambou.

Dak’Artwork has performed an enormous function in rising the visibility of African artists since they show their work to an unprecedented variety of audiences.

Artists like Nnenna Okore (Nigeria), Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali) and Aïda Muluneh (Ethiopia) are among the many lots of who’ve gotten huge publicity from the occasion and gone on to main acclaim.

Abdou Diouf, the technical director of Dakar Biennale, instructed Africanews the Biennale had acquired between 450,000 and 460,000 guests, with over 180,000 guests on the fundamental expo website. On the identical time, the New York Instances gushed that town itself was the Biennale’s “most colourful canvas”.

Dakar can be a rising vacationer attraction, with a booming seaside resort scene.

In November, Europe’s vacation firm Tui launched the primary direct flights from the UK to Dakar in additional than 10 years.

Along with Tui, the Spanish resort chain Riu additionally dipped a toe into Senegal with its not too long ago opened five-star Riu Baobab.

The European river cruise firm Nicko additionally launched the primary African expedition ship, crusing from Tenerife in April 2023 to Cape Verde and Dakar.

In accordance with Sambou, “all these initiatives contribute to the affect of Dakar as a serious hub” nevertheless, she’s fast so as to add that it’s not all clean crusing for the nation: “Senegal is struggling to develop cultural initiatives from the North to the South, you discover that the majority occasions are concentrated inside the capital.”

Regardless of this hurdle, she acknowledges that they’ve made strides as a rustic: “Our artists are actually extremely coveted internationally.”

This January, Chanel will return to Dakar for a 19M programme (19M is the official identify for the headquarters of the speciality ateliers) and can give attention to collaborations with native artisans.

Moreover, the extremely anticipated eighth version of the All-Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, will happen on the Grand Theatre in Dakar from 12 to fifteen January 2023.

YouTube has introduced a partnership within the ‘Teranga Version’ to supply artist-focused instructional periods and reside streaming to music lovers and stakeholders in over 84 nations throughout the globe.

With all these initiatives and continued funding within the arts and tradition, Dakar will undoubtedly proceed to rise as Africa’s artistic and cultural capital.

“Senegalese media has additionally performed an enormous function. Dynamic journalists and bloggers report on this dynamism, and their productions are seen worldwide,” mentioned Sambou.

Furthermore, companies like Niyel, certainly one of Africa’s main advocacy, campaigns, and public affairs agency, is headquartered in Dakar and assist organisations and nations amplify their impactful work throughout media channels.

“Due to social networks, Senegalese creativity is much more magnified,” mentioned Sambou.

/chook story company