MINILIFE lately in Dakar and beyond.
Have a wonderful weekend!
MINILIFE lately in Dakar and beyond.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Today I will share some of the inspiration from my new home town. The first thing I usually report of Dakar is its creative environment. From its colorful and unique car rapides to its street art, where ever you go you are surrounded by art!
And this weekend was one of Dakar art scene highlights, the Art Show organized by the Dakar Women Group. It was one of the finest selections I have seen so far. Over 500 pieces from more than 50 artists born, raised, working or living in Senegal!
But see for yourself and tell me that this does not inspire you to create!
Plenty of urban and architectural references, as well as an overall focus on play and childhood - i was in heaven! Dakar Biennale is coming up, I can't wait!
MINITECTURE's blog is back! It has been exactly one year since my last post!
Matthieu and I are still in Dakar, the girls are growing so fast, and a lot has changed since... soon it will be ONE year that MINITECTURE is not only a blog but expanded into a creative outlet and shop! Last year, Stina and I, inspired by the color and pattern choices of african waxes, started creating playtents and buntings! Since I could not stop creating and trying out new products for the MINITECTURE collection!
Unfortunately, my friend Stina left to go back to Sweden. Let me tell you it is more fun to be 2, but it won't keep me from stopping what we started.
Also I am back to be an architect in a regular office. So I am an architect in the morning and an minitect in the afternoon ... I am feeling pretty FULLfilled these days.
Enough about me, let me show you some of MINITECTURE's latest creations:
These photographs are taken by the wonderful Malick Welli in Medina, Dakar. Malick is a young and very talented senegalese photographer and an amzing friend
To see the whole photoshoot go here!
I am still day-dreaming of our trip up north last week. It was good to get out. It was good to have a family outing. We stayed at a lovely guesthouse Niokobokk, 20 minutes south of Saint Louis. Isabelle and Didier's guesthouse lies just in front of the ocean. It is an oasis. There is nothing like being alone on a beach "sauvage". We must return soon!
see the part1 of our Saint Louis trip here.
Raphaëlle is 3 months old today!!
She is so good. Calm and easy. Smiling like a star. Wide awake during the day and sleeping through the night! We love her more each day!
The hardest part of having a baby in Africa is being so far apart from family and friends. I haven't felt so homesick in a while. For the last few weeks, I have this urge of presenting my newest babe to my dearest. And with no papers for Miss R, I feel stuck on this vast continent and somewhat lonely in lovely Dakar! So I try to stay busy, daydreaming of future projects, getting involved in local activities, taking day trips in the area and checking out Dakar's art scene. Check out MINITECTURE on Instagram to get glimpses of my Dakar highlights!
According to historical accounts of the First Franco-Dahomean War, in the 1890s it was the highly trained military women who were chopping off the heads of the French. Sometimes while they slept.
French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons. A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force. She has named this series of strong warriors on the street "Amazone"...
I haven't found their locations here in Senegal, but if anybody has an idea or hint where I can find them and see them in person, it would be much appreciated!
I think the street art is intriguing and the documented photographs brilliant! I will let you know if I do discover one of them one day!
see more here!
Early December, we met with friends at an adventure center in the midst of baobab trees - Espace Accro Baobap near Somone! It was my first time outside of Dakar and my first time seeing a baobab tree - good times!
Unfortunately, with my belly I was not allowed much at the adventure park - hopefully we will be back soon!
Léonore had a blast! (Simba included - the school mascot - adopted for that weekend)
Vanessa presents only a tiny part of her boys library today - believe me!
I met Vanessa in Vientiane, Laos in 2010 and this year our paths crossed again in Dakar, Senegal. She is a mother of 2 and created a paradise of every child in her home here in Dakar. Let's just say there is a giant trampoline in front of her house, a playroom on each floor, some niches to cuddle and relax with a book or two or more... the boys birthday parties are famous here in Dakar. She works part time and the rest of the day she is unwinding with her boys at the beach! Vanessa does it all - a super woman! I am glad I ran into her again!
My boys Thomas (6years old) and Maxime (2years and a half) heart books…
Bedtime stories could last for hours and they love sitting in our library together, putting down the shelves dozens of books. They like to go through them together and the oldest tries to read to his little brother (by heart or slowly by himself).
Thomas (aged 6) had such a difficult time choosing his favourites! He wanted to choose practically everything on the book shelves, and had a hard time separating the books he loved as a young child from his current favourites now. Here is his selection :
1. The three robbers by Tomi Ungerer
Even if sometimes they are a bit scared with this story, they keep asking for it (they love the movie also)
2. Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland
What I love about the book is that is doesn’t just show you a picture of a city or place, but it allows the reader to experience what it would be like to be there, to join the Carnival in Brazil, to river raft down the Grand Canyon, to visit the penguins in Antarctica, steer a gondola in Venice and a whole host of other fun activities. It’s also filled with fun and engaging illustrations and interesting facts about every destination.
3. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and pretty much all the books by Oliver Jeffers
This book is about the friendship, and how important it is to have someone to love and be with. Very charmingly illustrated.
4. The very Hungry Caterpillar/The very busy Spider by Eric Carle
These two have been read an hundred of times !
5. Go away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Just the perfect one for my two little monsters who knows it by heart !
6. Zoo-ology by Joelle Jolivet
I love this book! It has beautifully crafted illustrations and artistic groupings of animals-not the typical ABC animal picture book. I love its larger size and I enjoyed the interesting information tidbits located in the back pages of the book. Endless hours of watching the animals !
7. The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson
Wonderful story of an imaginative mouse who while taking a walk through the woods makes up a story about a animal he calls a Gruffalo , he makes up this animal to protect himself from the various predators (fox, owl, snake ) that want to eat him. Very enjoyable for both parent and child. Wonderfully illustrated, I highly recommend the Gruffalo !
8. Where the wild things are, by Maurice Sendak
My two sons absolutely love this book. They like the idea of going 'where the wild things are' and the book inspire a lot of play in our house. The book nicely balances the child's need for imaginative thinking with a sense of limits, and the pleasures of home. The illustrations clearly make this book great.. Don't miss it !
9. Waddle, by Rufus Butler Seder
A very fascinating scanimated book !
10. Biggest World Book ever, by Richard Scarry
Just the perfect illustrated book for boys !!!
And so much more !!!!
Thank you Vanessa! Read her about her Christmas preparations in Dakar (2013) here!