popular
Tante Kata / Angelique, Dakar, c. 1961. Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

These Newly Discovered Photos From 1950s Senegal Capture the Good Times During an Era of Political Change

Unearthed photos by Roger DaSilva, which will be on display at the Also Known As Africa art and design fair in Paris this November, include rare images of presidents, jazz icons and everyday people in pre-independence Senegal.

A newly discovered collection from Senegalese photographer Roger DaSilva offers a rarefied glimpse into life in 1950s Senegal. DaSilva was born in Benin and took up photography after joining the French army in 1942. He returned to Dakar, considered his "adopted home" in 1947, where he began to capture the city's bustling social scenes. Instead of working within the confines of a studio in the tradition of fellow photographers Malick Sidibé and Samuel Fosso, DaSilva frequented "the city's night clubs and upscale weddings, he captured the vibrancy of youth culture in the post-war period and the African independence movements that were beginning to emerge."

The recently unearthed archive of over 100 of his images, which were restored by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation will debut at AKAA (Also Known As Africa) art and design fair in Paris for the first time next month. It will mark the first time that the images are shown outside of Senegal.


The images tell a multifaceted story of pre-independence Senegal. A common thread in DaSilva's photographs is the obvious glamor of his subjects, whether that be a family posed elegantly in front of their home while dressed in traditional attire, a religious gathering of men in all white, or a multiracial group of young men and women socializing in a night club. Da Silva was also an actor and tap dancer, who had access to "high society" and exclusive circles. His collection includes self-portraits of him with jazz icons the likes of Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton as well as photographs of Senegal's first President Léopold Senghor. They capture elegance and camaraderie, as well as the "good times" in an era in which they are often overlooked.

"Roger DaSilva's work brings to life a reality little documented until now," reads a statement from the Albers foundation. "In the pivotal historical context surrounding Senegal's accession to independence, it provides us with a fresh perspective on Senegalese cultural and social history and makes a significant contribution to West African photography."

The collection will be on display at the AKAA in Paris from November 9-11. The six images on display will be on sale, with all proceeds going to Senegalese non-profit organization Le Korsa.

Check out a preview of the exhibition below.

Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Madame Gomez and children, Dakar, c. 1958.

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Roger daSilva, self-portrait with Velma Middleton, Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Dakar, President Leopold Senghor, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

Dakar, c. 1952

Roger daSilva (C) 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation Courtesy Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

popular

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi Crowned Miss Universe

South Africans celebrate Zozibini Tunzi's victory.

Today, Zozibini Tunzi got crowned Miss Universe at the 68th instalment of the global beauty pageant. The event took place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta Georgia on the 8th of December.

Catriona Gray from The Philippines crowned her successor Zozibini Tunzi at the end of the event which was hosted by Steve Harvey as has been the case in the last five years.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

14 Cultural Events You Can't Miss this December in South Africa

OkayAfrica's guide to must-see events during South Africa's festive season.

South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it's an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it's about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you're looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.

Keep reading... Show less
Audio
GuiltyBeatz, Kwesi Arthur & Mr Eazi's "Pilolo" visualizer video (Youtube).

The 20 Best Ghanaian Songs of 2019

Featuring Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, Amaarae, Kwesi Arthur, Shatta Wale, Efya GuiltyBeatz, Joey B, R2Bees and many more.

2019 was definitely an exciting year for Ghanaian music.

Right from the top of the year, we saw both new and established make their mark with songs that would soundtrack the nation's airwaves, functions, and nights for months to come. In 2019 we got to experience an E.L comeback, Shatta Wale and Beyoncé on the same song, numerous solid Ghana-Naija collaborations, and bop after bop by old and new artists alike.

We also saw the rise of brand new artists, starting from the likes of J.Derobie's wave making debut in January, to Kofi Mole's widespread trap anthem, to Fameye's declaration of brokeness, to the promising future superstar Sam Opoku. As far as projects go, 2019 was a good year for that in the Ghana music space as well. We were blessed with an EP from Sarkodie, an album by the superstar duo R2Bees, talented singer King Promise's debut album, Ko-Jo Cue's stellar debut, and M.anifest's 7-track feel-good EP, among several others.

Ghanaian music has been stepping its game up lately, and there's only one way to go from here. Below, we give you the rundown on the Ghanaian songs that stole ears and hearts and set the pace for the country's sound this year.

Check out the list below. Listen in no particular order.—Nnamdi Okirike

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.