Mimi Mollica - En Route To Dakar (via lensculture)
In Senegal, the difficult task of development has the texture of concrete and the smell of smoky asphalt struggling to conquer the sand. I photographed this project for four months between 2007 and the end of 2008. In 2011, the thirty-four kilometer motorway was completed with new roundabouts, interchanges, viaducts and bridges. Behind these grandiose schemes is a ‘slimmed-down’ state — a government still chasing 1960s development dreams.
Dakar has become a huge, surreal building site. The Senegalese relate to the new road, and its promises, in many ways. While some people have directly occupied the new space, others reinvent their own form of daily living at its margins. All around people bargain, build, chat, do the laundry, have a rest, play, run, walk, wait. Some find a sandy corner to unroll their small carpet and engage in the five-minutes dialog with God.
Although “development” is generally referred to as a positive step forward towards “civilization”, disruption and insecurity characterize the capital as it undergoes this transition.