City Research Online

Curating Dakar as an art world city

Mbaye, J. F. ORCID: 0000-0003-2225-6077 & Iossifidis, M. (2020). Curating Dakar as an art world city. In: Kuoni, C., Baltà Portolès, J., Khan, N. & Serubiri, M. (Eds.), Forces of Art: Perspectives from a changing world. (pp. 215-236). Netherlands: Valiz.


This chapter explores the contours and dynamics that forge Dakar as a contemporary ‘art world city,’ inquiring into initiatives that operate at the crossroads of art, citizenship and society. In a context marked by a monopolistic role of the state, the chapter interrogates the practices of two independent art organizations, RAW Material Company and Kër Thiossane, and their different engagements with and through the city. Delving into the processes of alterna tive, independent ‘art institution-building,’ we draw on AbdouMaliq Simone’s notion of ‘rhythms of endurance’ to explore the ways in which new methods of sharing and producing knowledge are developed and curated. Located at the intersections of creativity, cultural politics, and urban transformation, our contribution focuses on the subjects of such creative and transformative processes. In doing so, we emphasize the capacity of ordinary citizens to engage in the practical and symbolic re-imagining of their city. This chapter demonstrates that curatorial interventions and critical perspectives, through engaging with multiple audiences and investing in ‘art as a thinking system,’ can create spaces of encounters, of expression, exchange, reflection, and speculation to produce an ‘art world city’ in constant recreation.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Culture & the Creative Industries
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