Archive: Issue No. 29, January 2000

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Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue

Detail from group picture

Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue

In the autumn of 1998, young Dutch photographer/filmmaker Barend Schweigman spent three months in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, teaching photography at a local institution. His online project Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue chronicles a series of portrayals Schweigman made while getting to know the people of his neighbourhood, each photographed with a favourite object. Clicking on to the site, the viewer builds up a group portrait while mousing over the screen, and then is able to discover one by one the meaning of each object for the owner.

Shweigman bridges the gap between the new culture and his own Dutch heritage by presenting the individual portraits in Delft blue, framed as a 17th century tile. Such tiles often represented the objects and activities of daily life.

The project can be read in English, Nederlands, or Swahili.

Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue is a project hosted by Africaserver, which in the recent past has published virtual presentations of work of painters from Mozambique (group exhibition of the collective Nucleo de Arte-Arms into Art), Angola (Antognoni Brunhoso), Benin (Gaba Meschac), South Africa (Dominic Tshabangu), Senegal (Max Diop)and Mali (Hama Goro).





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