Senegal Trip Boosts Upcoming Sufi Arts Exhibit
Factory mural in Dakar depicts the Sengalese saint Sheikh Amadu Bamba, and his disciple Sheikh Lamp. Photo: Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen Roberts.

By Jean Roth

Senegal Trip Boosts Upcoming Sufi Arts Exhibit

Allen F. Roberts, director of the James S. Coleman African Studies Center, spent 10 days in Senegal this past December with colleagues from the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History.

The trip was part of an exhibition implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which the Fowler received for the "Sufi Arts of Senegal and Beyond" (working title) exhibition. Roberts is co-curating the exhibit with Mary Nooter Roberts, deputy director and chief curator at the Fowler.

While in Dakar, Roberts met with the Senegalese Minister of Culture and other dignitaries, and delivered a 2-hour talk and discussion at the U.S. Cultural Center about his research in Senegal  for the Fowler project since 1994. The official newspaper of Senegal, Le Soleil, reviewed the presentation in an article entitled "Mouride Culture Explained to Americans," and described how the exhibition will help museum audiences understand other, peaceful faces of Islam in the wake of 9-11, and about 9/11 teach-in activities at UCLA's department of World Arts & Cultures that included Senegalese Muslims living in Los Angeles.


Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2002