Hudita Nura Musta, “Portaits of modernity : Fashioning selves Dakarois Popular Photography” in Politique africaine Volume 100, Issue 4, October 2005, pages 229 to 247

La photographie, le portrait et l’être-femme à Dakar

Photographic collections are commonplace in contemporary Dakarois households. Linked to the practice of “sañse”, whereby Senegalese women craft their social personae, they are an important form of cultural capital. This essay examines such portraiture to show how bodies and selves, once subjugated within a colonial imaginary, have been reclaimed and reformed through postcolonial strategies of self-invention. Photographs of well-dressed persons, rather than simply instancing “colonial domination” or the “postcolonial crisis”, represent agents who deliberately engage with practices of wealth, transnationalism, and charisma.

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