February 9, 2010

Religion and Culture of Senegal the Focus of Numerous Black History Month Events

Islam in Africa exhibit and lecture, film screenings, and a hip hop performance will take place throughout February

The religion and culture of Senegal are the focus of a number of events during Lafayette’s celebration of Black History Month.

The events include the Islam in Africa: A Pilgrimage to Touba, Senegal exhibit in Skillman Library’s Lass Gallery, an exhibition talk by photographer David Katzenstein 4:15 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Gendebien Room of Skillman Library, a screening and discussion of Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in Limburg Theater of Farinon College Center, and a live hip-hop performance and screening of the film Democracy in Dakar 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104.

The Islam in Africa exhibition will run in the Lass Gallery throughout the spring semester. It features color and black-and-white photographs by New York-based photographer David Katzenstein, which capture the faces of the more-than-three-million people who participate in the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Touba, Senegal. Katzenstein’s extensive body of work includes magazine essays on “The Master Musicians of Jajouka in Morocco,” “Johnny Clegg and Zulu Music and Culture,” “The Music and Culture of Bali,” “President Aristide and the Future of Haiti,” and “Arabs in America and the Gulf War.”

Katzenstein’s talk on Feb. 11 will deal with his experiences photographing the pilgrimage in 1997 and 2004. He will be accompanied by Cheikh Fara Gaye, a Mouride (Sufi) disciple from Senegal, who was Katzenstein’s guide and partner on the project.

Later that evening, Katzenstein, Gaye, and Emily Musil, assistant professor of history, will lead a discussion of the controversial reception of the film Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2009). The film follows Senegalese mega pop star Youssou N’Dour after the release of his Grammy-winning album Egypt, a collection of Islamic praise music with references to his Mouride beliefs.

On Feb. 27, there will be a live Senegalese Hip Hop performance and screening of the film Democracy in Dakar (2009). The screening will be followed by a panel with Ben Herson, the film’s producer; Moussa Sall, a Senegalese rapper featured in the film; and Waterflow, a Senegalese rapper and activist.

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