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From 11th to 14th June 2019 the International Seminar on Museum Governance of the women’s museums of Senegal and Quebec 2019 took place in the Women’s Museum Henriette Bathily in Dakar, Senegal. Here you can find the IAWM report on the conference.

Louise Senechal is currently doing an internship at the Musée de la Femme Marrakech and describes in the following report her personal view and feedback of the seminar in Senegal:

Louise Senechal, intern at the Women’s Museum Marrakesh.

Le séminaire international sur la gouvernance des musées a eu lieu à Dakar du 11 au 14 juin 2019. Rassemblant des professionnels de plusieurs pays (Sénégal, Québec, Cameroun, Burkina Faso, Italie et France), ce séminaire avait pour but de réfléchir à un renforcement des collaborations entre les musées du Sénégal et ceux du Québec et de réfléchir ensemble aux différents modes de gestion muséaux. Continue reading

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Group photo of the seminar

From 11 to 14 June, the International Seminar on Museum Governance of Senegal and Quebec 2019 took place in Dakar. The goal of the meeting was to explore the possibilities of exchange and partnership in the museum sector of Quebec and Senegal and to present already existing best practices.

The initiative for the seminar came from the Women’s Museum Quebec, under the leadership of Lydie Olga Ntap, and the Senegalese Women’s Museum Henriette Bathily with Marie-Pierre Mbaye-Myrick and Awa Cheikh Deiouf.

Responsible for organizing the seminar in Dakar was Mr. Ibrahima Cissé, the Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Dakar.

Mr. Ibrahima Cissé, the Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Dakar, Photo: Uli Gutweniger

As IAWM, we are proud of the start of this seminar, because our network of women’s museums was the foundation for it. In 2000, the Women’s Museums of Senegal and Merano/Italy formed a partnership. This partnership was the origin of the idea to invite women’s museums from around the world to gather in a conference, which could be realized in 2008. Back then the network of women’s museums started. Continue reading

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The Musée de la Femme Henriette Bathily was inaugurated as a tribute to all women in Gorée on June 17, 1994.

The museum was founded by the Consortium of Audiovisual Communications in Africa (CCA), led by Annette Mbaye D’Erneville, supported by a group of scientists, historians and sociologists. It contributes to education, liberation, emancipation, moral and scientific arming of all Senegalese women on the paths of development.

Annette Mbaye d’Erneville

The founder of the museum Annette Mbaye d’Erneville has not only founded the first African women’s museum, but also inspired others to do the same. Mali and Central Africa followed her example. The Canadian WM was founded by her niece. „Tata-Annette“ (aunt) or „Mere-bi“ (mother), as she is called, shows us how one single woman is able to change the world. As first female journalist in Senegal she worked for the emancipation of women for all her life. She founded the first women’s magazine and several women’s organizations, as well as the first film festival in Senegal. She was deeply involved in the development of her country. For her achievements she received the first IAWM award during the Fifth International Congress of Women’s Museum in Mexico City in 2016.

The prize was donated by the Soroptimist Clubs of Vaduz (LI), Zug (CH), Goldes (A), and Meran (I). From left to right: Christine Peer (SI International Europe), Astrid Schönweger, coordinator of IAWM, Monika Studer, SI Club Vaduz, Mona Holm, president of IAWM, Lydie Olga Ntap, WM Canada, Sissi Prader, WM Merano, Italy.

At first sight, the creation of a women’s museum might seem like a useless fantasy; but if we think about it, we know that women are at the center of all community life. Through them the life and the future of a whole community is influenced. Then the interest in a women’s museum does not have to be justified.

For 20 Years, the women’s museum was located on the island of Gorée. This original Museum was the first of its kind on the African continent. Up until today it presents its collections which illustrate all the phases of the life of Senegalese rural and urban women.

The main objective of the Henriette Bathily Women’s Museum is to unveil the place and the role of the Senegalese women in their communities, rituals, and popular and traditional arts.It opens up new point of views through field research, interviews, family collections, photographic reproductions, recordings and films, and archival consultations. The Museum’s magazines will attract the interest of nationals and foreigners and introduce them to an important aspect of Senegalese community life: the organization of society evolves around women. Another interest of the Senegalese Women’s Museum is that it allows non-Senegalese to enter the “intimacy” of the Senegalese society either for research, studies, academic work or simply to get to know the other. The Senegalese can themselves discover the specificities of other ethnic groups, of other communities, of other regions: customs and traditions varying between groups. In short, the Senegalese Women’s Museum, while being an educational and cultural structure is also a socio-economic organization.

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