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sábado, 12 de setembro de 2015

The Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily" in Goree, Senegal is the first museum of its kind in Africa. It will tell you all about the place and role of Senegalese women in the community, in rituals and in popular and traditional arts.

History of Henriette Bathily Museum
The Consortium de Communications Audiovisuelles en Afrique (CCA) believed that museums were places for multifaceted communication about the reference objects of civilization. It wanted to make a contribution to the defence, illustration, preservation, promotion and dissemination of Senegal’s cultural heritage and thus took the initiative to establish a Senegalese women’s museum. The CCA named the museum after Henriette Bathily, a well-known communicator and figure in the world of culture.

Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, Director of the CCA, Adama Cissé Wélé and the filmmaker Ousmane William Mbaye, supported by the Senegalese government, the Embassy of Canada and a number of Senegalese, African and foreign partner organizations helped to make the Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily" a reality. It is the first museum of its kind in Africa

Located on the island of Gorée, at the corner of Saint-Germain and Malavois Streets, the Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily" has occupied a house built in 1777 by a rich "signare", Victoria Albis, since its inauguration on June 17, 1994.

"We have to paint things about Senegal, about life here, about our customs and the way we dress. People from Mali have to draw what they find in Mali and it is the same case for Togo. I do not want to go beyond our border. French paintings, Napoleon, chateaux, those aren’t Senegalese things", said glass painter Gora Mbengue as reported by Michel Renaudeau and Michèle Strobel (1984) in "Peinture sous verre du Sénégal" (Glass Painting in Senegal).

Glass painting is also called glass pictures (or "souwère" in Wolof) because the medium of this work is glass. The paintings are done on the glass itself but are viewed against the light, through the glass and under the glass. 

This painting technique originated in the East and appeared in Senegal with the arrival of Islam. It soon developed in old communities like Saint Louis, Rufisque and Dakar before moving on to all the urban centres that have the materials artists need to produce their works: glass, India ink, paint, brushes, solvent or thinner, cardboard and adhesive paper. 

A two- to three-millimetre thick piece of glass is first cleaned.

The drawing is made directly on the glass with pen and India ink. Some artists use very fine brushes and black paint. The drawing may be done from imagination or transferred from a sketch.

Signatures and captions are written on the back (mirror writing) because the glass is displayed in reverse. It should be noted that the first "souwériste" painters neither signed nor dated their work.

Then the paint is applied. In contrast to classical painting technique, glass painting starts with the detail and ends with the background. Because the painting is seen "under glass", the details will appear on the surface and are thus must be the first to be painted. Oil paints thinned with solvent or synthetic thinner are used.

After being dried in the shade, paintings then are placed on a cardboard background on which several cotton strands are wound and then looped to form hangers. The cardboard is cut to the same dimensions as the glass and is attached with a strip of double-sided adhesive paper that sticks to the edges of the glass and the edges of the cardboard at 

The traditional subjects of glass painters are of Muslim origin and represent religious subjects (Noah’s ark, Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Abraham...) and religious heads and founders of brotherhoods (Sheik Amadou Bamba, El Hadj Malick Sy, Saydina Issa Laya...).

Painters also illustrate popular stories like the traditional ones transmitted orally by "griots" (lion hunts, the punishment of the bad husband, genies...).

Also depicted are scenes of everyday life sketched simply in a naive style (a mother nursing her baby, a boxing match, a Koranic school, a thief caught by a policeman, AIDS, polygamy...).

Portraits of women, families and couples in their best outfits also feature in glass pictures.

Some glass pictures are only for decoration (wild or domestic animals, multicoloured birds, flowers...).

For some years now, glass pictures have hung in many houses, introducing artistic and decorative touches and conveying simple messages in an educational, humorous or satiric way within the family about aspects of daily life. These naive representations recall the images of Epinal in France.

fonte: @edisonmariotti#edisonmariotti

The learner will:
describe The Musée de la Femme "Henriette Bathily" , Senegal and its glass painting collection;
describe the technique of glass painting and traditional themes;
describe the role of glass painting in Senegal’s culture;
describe the history of glass painting in Senegal.

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