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Habib, mon ami
Dakar SENEGAL 2018

5min 4sec

sound by Olivier Hölzl 

Between 2016 and 2019, I spent a month annually in Senegal, leveraging my French fluency, thanks to my French mother. My friend Mara Niang, based in Austria, facilitated connections with cultural institutions like Maison de la Culture Douta Seck and Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor in Dakar. During my first visit, Mara introduced me to local artists, and I stayed with Georg Ehrhardt, a UN manager. His apartment became my photo studio, and the terrace, my painting space. Georg found the apartment through Habib, a real estate agent and artist. Over the years, Habib supported my art projects, making nearly anything possible. Our friendship deepened through painting and exploration of Dakar on his Vespa. On my third trip, I collaborated with Habib on a project, using a mural from the previous year as a backdrop for a performative video. This marked my transition from stop-motion videos with objects to incorporating dance and performance. The day before the shoot, I surprised Habib with the concept, an integral part of my approach. Video editing techniques allowed me to influence movements and create looped choreographies, even with non-dancers. Habib, intuitively understanding my abstract guidance, symbolized "life" through movements with Senegalese objects. Years of conversation culminated in a harmonious shoot, capturing a perfect blend of light and moments. In Dakar, I recorded sounds from drum concerts, using them as the rhythmic background for "Habib, mon ami." Video editing software synchronized these sounds with Habib's movements, creating a seamless fusion of visuals and audio, with no consideration for BPM.

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