What makes you remember a street? Is there an area in town to which you return often? Why? We all know how specific areas within any given city have their own feel and pace, depending on the time of the day. I was always a walker and in whatever town I lived, I always developed a fast understanding of my own favorite neighborhoods. In the case of Saint-Louis, it’s the northern part of the island, or the sandy stretch of land further north by the Mauritanian border in Goxum Bacc and Sal Sal.
Now during the Covid-19 pandemic I start my days by walking around the island very early in the morning, and I check the surface of the river first thing as some sort of a fortune teller or weather forecast. I would also choose my first walk or bicycle route of the day always by the river even in the non-pandemic times.
With Covid-19 the pace of life has changed and even more so with the Ramadan in full swing. This change will – I hope – manifest also in my forthcoming video installations for Afropolis. In the past weeks I have chatted with friends and listened to them talk about their hometown and it has been very interesting to hear what they like about this town and how they would change it if they could. I chose to shoot on the streets with a mini DV camcorder on purpose as I have come to realize that digital does not convey so well what I am hoping to show. Of course I need to rely on the digital in order to be able to share this work online and elsewhere, but the point is that the starting point is different when all I have is two 60 minute-cassettes. I like this extra-economical boundary because it puts me in a completely different mood with planning my work. Additionally, it has been my interviewees who gave me ideas for several of these locations in our discussions.
You can click on the above image to see a short excerpt of my work in progress, and this page for some early snippets of our discussions that will be another part the whole.