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Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature

Abstract

This essay approaches contemporary arts in Senegal and their exhibition from the perspective of cultural policy. This is an especially salient approach in Senegal, where policy has played a significant role in exhibition and creative practice since the colonial period. This history is conventionally examined through a distinctly nationalist framework that reveals the government’s clear distinction between "tradition" and "modernity". State exhibition practice and rhetoric have reinforced this dichotomy, serving to position the Senegalese state as purveyor, definer, and arbiter of cultural heritage. However, diverse creative expressions throughout the capital city of Dakar call into question nationalist rhetoric’s rigid distinction and reveal its limitations.

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