chapter  Chapter 2
15 Pages

A Politico-Economic History of Modern and Contemporary Art in Senegal : From Négritude to the Logics of the Open Society

WithMassamba Mbaye

This chapter examines the history of modern art in Senegal from the vantage of major institutional paradigms, beginning with President Leopold Sedar Senghor presidency, when the most significant acts related to culture and arts were implemented. The national cultural charter became a document of reference for Senegalese cultural politics. Abdou Diouf came to power in a context of economic crisis, and the country – facing a heavy treasury deficit – was forced to follow literally the austerity politics prescribed by the institutions of Bretton Woods. Wade engaged in politics with pan-Africanist ideas that aligned closely with Senghor’s Negritude, but with a liberal nuance, as opposed to Senghor’s African socialism. Macky Sall, the liberal but less radical president who succeeded Wade, progressively integrated culture into his framework. Under Sall, culture has increasingly been recognized as a powerful political tool for bringing international attention to Senegal.