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Johanna Bramble et Fatim Soumaré (c) Barada Preira
Johanna Bramble & Fatim SoumaréPhotography Badara Preira Courtesy of le19M

Chanel brings new exhibition to Dakar, courtesy of la Galerie du 19M

Off the back of the 2022/2023 Métiers d’art collection in Dakar, the French luxury brand is launching its latest initiative in the Senegalese capital

After three years of preparation, towards the end of last year, Virginie Viard brought Chanel to Senegal, presenting her 2022/2023 Métiers d’Art collection in the capital city of Dakar. A vibrant city filled with creativity and culture, Dakar was the perfect fit to continue Chanel’s legacy of championing international talent. The show itself took place at the former Palais de Justice and celebrated local dancers and performers. 

Both prior to and post the show, Chanel hosted a plethora of events including panel talks on craftsmanship and literature with local writers, creatives and students, a film screening in partnership with Dakar Short Film Festival and workshops with selected students. Now for the next instalment of Chanel’s work in Senegal, the luxury French label has brought its multidisciplinary arts space to Dakar to stage a three-month-long exhibition. 

The exhibition comes courtesy of le19M, Chanel's craftmanship hub, which opened its doors in early 2022 in a venue situated between the 19th arrondissement of Paris and Aubervilliers. The venue is a beaming mecca of creativity and craftsmanship – housing la Galerie du 19M alongside an embroidery school, the Maison ERES and 10 Maisons relating to Métiers d’art. As both an exhibition space and creative initiative, la Galerie du 19M hosts shows, conferences, training and workshops. 

Embodying the energy of the space in Paris, la Galerie du 19M Dakar is hosted in the historic Plateau district of Dakar, inside one of the buildings of the Musée Théodore Monod d’Art Africain. While Chanel has done numerous international projects, this is the first time la Galerie du 19M will be emulated abroad. Entitled 'Sur le fil' (which translates as ‘on the thread’), the exhibition itself brings together nearly thirty artists from not only Senegal but also South Africa, Mali, France and Bolivia. Focusing on the elements of a story created through art, the exhibition highlights the synergy between contemporary creativity and traditional practices around weaving and embroidery savoir-faire.

There are over 40 works and installations across all disciplines including photography, painting, and sculpture. While the exhibition takes place, numerous craftsmen will be producing work in front of audiences and staging participatory workshops conducted by the guest artists in residence. 

“The launch of la Galerie du 19M Dakar coincides, almost to the day, with the first anniversary of the inauguration of la Galerie du 19M in Paris/Aubervilliers and its opening to the public. This first international programme speaks to the renewed interest of professionals in fashion savoir-faire—supported for nearly forty years by CHANEL—as well as to a new popular fervour for handicrafts,” explained Bruno Pavlovsky, President of CHANEL SAS and President of le19M. “We are grateful to the IFAN / Musée Théodore-Monod and to the Senegalese authorities for welcoming us here, in the heart of the Plateau district of Dakar, to celebrate the creative dialogue between embroidery, weaving, and contemporary creation.”

The exhibition is free and open Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 6 pm and guided tours are run from 3 to 4 pm on Saturdays. Luckily for those who will not be able to make it all the way to Senegal but would nevertheless love to see the featured art, the exhibition will be making one more stop after closing in Dakar in March. From May to the end of July, the exhibition, alongside all of the collaborative works woven in Dakar, will be exhibited at le19M in Paris. You can keep updated about the exhibition here and follow the IG account here.