August 13, 2017

Malagrafica, museos de Malaga

I was invited by Malagrafica ( Patrizia Torres, Luis Ruiz et Javier Rico of Urban sketchers Malaga) to do a workshop in their city - Malaga - last April/May. Three other sketchers were invited  Stefano FaravelliJorg Asselborn and Juan Maria Josa.

Before travelling I discover that the city is full of museums and art centers and immediately I thought about holding my workshop in one of them.  For me sketching in galleries and museums is a very good way on taking notes on artists whose work I want to check but also to register the behaviour of onlookers. The workshop was based in quick sketches trying to get the volume and size of the works in relation to the onlookers. Quick notes with references to the artist or to the work.


Stefano Faravelli  (check this link for his sketches of Madagascar) also proposed a workshop in the museum of Malaga and we were supposed to do compositions using the different scripts and alphabets of the collections.

July 20, 2017

Ciné Droit Libre à Nouakchott, Mauritanie

Master Soumy après le film sur Cheikh Anta Diop 

Quartier Cinquième

en attendant le public

Abdulaye Diallo coordinateur et un intervenant
Découvrir plus d'info sur le Ciné droit libre ici et en anglais ici

January 24, 2017

Saphir d'Or, vinyl records in nouakchott

Mohamed Vall surrounded by his records at Saphir d'Or, Medina 3, Nouakchott
I came to the shop with the Senegalese photographer Ibrahima Thiam we were looking for one of the oldest Photo Studio.and ended up in a record shop.

Ibrahima has been for a couple of weeks in Nouakchott to try and find out who were the first Mauritanians that started Photographique studios in Nouakchott. documentation is scarse.

Most of the earlier photographers are gone and those surviving have left town or refuse to show their work if they're not being paid.

Ibrahima Thiam at Saphir d'Or, Medina 3, Nouakchott
Finding this record shop was a great thing because Mohamed Vall made as feel welcome and shared his stories of Nouakchott with us. Having been a keen photographer in his youth he had an album that we got to see and Ibrahima found enough documentation about the first Photographique studios in Nouakchott. These drawings were done today in our second visit as I wanted to get some music registered so I could listen at home.

Saphir d'Or opend in 1979 and is still going. What is now the only and perhaps was always the only music store in Mauritania. Records and tapes can be found most music dating from the 60's to the 80's. From all over the world, Flamenco guitar to Jimmy Hendrix, National Mauritania Orchestra or the houdou of Saidou Ba, Marvin Gueye or Abba.

There's a very god article written by Christopher kirkley from Sahelsounds (if you don't know the blog worth a visit) about the shop and Mohamed Vall in Brownbook with great photographs by Bechir Malum.

Mauritanie: l'une des plus grandes collections de vieux classiques réunis au Saphir d'Or

January 23, 2017


public at conference at the IFM
Its winter in Mauritania temperatures at night time have been going down to 12ºC, cold for our standard when we're used to have temperatures a lot higher. Socks became important elements of protection.

Abdel Wedoud and public



Not many women present (the Mauritanian public its in majority male) but the remark about women's status in society and the myth that they have special standards in Mauritania was well questioned by this lady in pink.
questions time

January 13, 2017

Ouadane at the end of 2016

December 24, 2016

Octopus pots from Mauritania travelling around the world

octopus pots, Nouakchott beach, 2013
This drawing dating from 2013 was published in a local magazine Citymag where I tell the story and the exchanges with an American Wildlife biologist, Tom Pitchford, who's interested in the impact on the environment of the plastic traps used to fish the octopus. (original post in French in citymag here)

octopus traps in Nouakchott beach November 2016

He contacted me to find out if ever I had drawn a octopus trap. I had never heard of them but next time I was in the beach I saw that they were omnipresent.

These traps made of plastique and containing a ballast in cement in the interior are used in the Northeast Atlantic (Spain and Portugal) and the Eastern Central Atlantic (Morocco and Mauritania) to capture the octopus.

Cement is tied in the interior of the pots with ropes to serve as ballast. It comes a moment of tear and wear where it breaks and the pots are free from weight. I suppose they're in bunches because spread in the beach you find them individually or still tied in grapes. But the moment that most of the pots loose their ballast they break free and start moving around pushed by the currents of the ocean.

Tom contacted me because pots are turning up in California, Bermudas, Bahamas, Caribbean, Cape Vert and probably a lot more places he doesn't know about yet.

He says in an article that :
“Little Cayman getting a plastic pot from the Western Sahara is the same as the UK receiving plastic debris from the United States, or Florida receiving plastic items from the Caribbean. We are all on the conveyor belt, the plastic is circulating the gyres (large systems of rotating ocean currents),” he said, adding that storms can pull the debris out of the gyres and onto beaches. ( full article here)
Cape Vert
He said tracing the source of the octopus pots and finding out they had travelled halfway around the world on the sea was indicative of the persistent plastic marine pollution that is being seen globally. 
For century's octopus were fished using clays pots reverting to this technique and stopping the use of plastique would be a better alternative for the future of the planet.
Turks and Caicos Islands

Kayak, Sénégal
octopus pot found in Florida origin Mauritania
All photos sent by Tom Pitchford

December 18, 2016

Travelling across the Sahara, sharing time with the nomads

Jean-Pierre Valentin, Dires Nomades à Nouakchott
The French ethnographe, Jean-Pierre Valentin came to Nouakchott to talk about the Sahara desert and spending time with nomadic/pastoral groupes like the Tuaregs, the Moors and the Mbororo (Fulani). Crossing enormous areas through Mauritania, Mali and Niger by car or by camel caravan. He documents his work through photography and film and you can find excerpts in his website.

Time and space loose their boundaries and silence and the magique of sounds became magical. listening to him the small groupe of people attending the event was spellbound.

Solli Ladde (2012) : "Les oiseaux de la brousse" avec Tibé, jeune chanteuse wodaabe et les arrangements musicaux de Boris Lelong, sur des images - montées par Boris - du documentaire de Jean-Pierre Valentin "Niger, dans les pas de Kabo Ana"