Westafrika Magazin

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Gambia present for the first time at the Dak'art Biennale

Hon. Hamat Bah in Dakar at Dak'Art Eröffnung, Photo Angelika Prox-Dampha

For the first time, the Gambia participates in the internationally well-known platform of the Biennale Dak'Art2018. The Minister of Culture and Tourism Hon. Hamat Bah was the official guest at the opening ceremony.

With the Dak'Art Biennale, Senegal has succeeded in creating an internationally well recognised platform for the marketing of African art in the global art market. Artists, art students, art experts, art buyers, art lovers, the Dak'art guests encompass a rich spectrum of visitors from all over the world, who appreciate and love the meanwhile well-established event. There is an opportunity to exchange contemporary African art and meet old friends and acquaintances from all over the world. In addition, the event has developed into a marketplace and is therefore highly appreciated by African artists as well as by interested buyers and collectors.

So far, Gambian artists have not benefited much as they might have lacked the resources and perhaps the courage, under the old government, to try and exhibit in Dakar. The presence of the Gambian minister sends a signal for closer cooperation in the future. Also, a group of Gambian students of the UTG has traveled to Dakar to get an impression of the Biennale.

The Gambia could do something similar at home and provide local artists with a platform to present themselves in the world. That would certainly have a positive effect on tourism as well.

Culture as an industry has always been an interesting concept in the Gambia. The Roots Festival deliberately marketed a cultural good. At the Dak'Art many new facets of the trade can be observed, new target groups addressed and, hopefully, put to good use for Gambian artists.

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