Fatou Kandé Senghor artist from Senegal immerses in a journey down memory lane. She engages in a dialogue with her husband ETIENNE and twin brother Leopold about IDENTITY, BELONGING, CONNECTING AND TIES through the concept of NEGRITUDE developed in the 30’s by POET and PRESIDENT LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR. As they unfold their thoughts and words, Fatou reveals a perfect metaphor with the lives of ETIENNE and LEOPOLD SENGHOR, also gran sons of LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR.
LEOPOLD and ETIENNE are twin brothers. They were born in Dakar in Senegal. They moved to the USA when they were seven years old. Etienne came back to Africa 18 years ago following a wake up call. Leopold has been coming back to Africa the past 5 years.
When Leopold Senghor gets off the plane from Washington DC where he lives to the registration desk, at the airport in Senegal and hands out his passport, the immigration officer takes the American passport in his hands and opens it. He notices the name of the passenger in front of him and floods him with questions.
It has become a ritual, and then when he comes out of the airport, that sign is there to remind him of the namesake. It reads LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
This is the story of belonging, connecting and links, it’s a story about history, geography, community and identity. How one has to struggle to be, to belong, and strengthen after being cut from his own.
They both are at a different pace re-capturing data belonging to them while their similar faces continue to create confusion amongst their family and friends. They are reliving places and faces:
Dakar-City, capital of Senegal, where all the vibrant economical life is Etienne’s everyday atmosphere and where most of his family members live. He lives and works in Dakar. Dakar is also where Leopold has to face the language, the faith, the mentality, the CULTURE.
Thiès, is the town where Etienne and Leopold were born. This is where they were declared when they were born, and come back to when they need official paperwork. This is an important town emotionally. Their traces are there, carefully kept.
Joal and Djilor, were made unforgettable places in the world by Leopold Sedar Senghor’s poetry. The birthplace and the sanctuary of the Senghor family, the two places are fundamentally at the beginning and at the end of each and every son of those lands.
THE SENGHOR SANCTUARIES. This is where it all began. This is where DIOGOYE BASILE SENGHOR ruled as a great merchant with his 5 wives. The house is built on the banks of the river and further away, the river meets the sea.
Washington DC., is the base, where they grew up, where their friends are, where every house they’ve ever lived in bares their childhood memories. This is where they were thrown into manhood.
This is what their story is, gran sons of the man who raised the concept of negritude, LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR, the man who invited the black men to stand up and protect their culture and civilizations and here they are, both of them at very different times in their lives dealing with the struggle of belonging.
This story becomes a pretext for the artist FATOU to exchange views and thoughts as they all travel to places around the world for their artwork while keeping the conversation going.