Exhibition Senghor and the Arts, Reinventing the Universal
Senghor and the Arts. Reinventing the Universal puts into perspective the reflections and achievements in the cultural field of the Senegalese intellectual and statesman, President of Senegal from 1960 to 1980, Léopold Sédar Senghor (1909-2001). Pioneer of Négritude, a political and literary movement initiated with Aimé Césaire, Léon-Gontran Damas, Suzanne Césaire, Jane and Paulette Nardal, Senghor defended the idea of a civilization of the universal, shaped by the "rendezvous of giving and receiving". Under this metaphor of exchange, of "cultural crossbreeding", he expressed the hope of uniting traditions and engaging "the dialogue of cultures". By reinventing and de-Westernizing the notion of the universal, he affirms the role of Africa in writing its history.
The exhibition looks back at Senegalese cultural policy and diplomacy in the aftermath of independence, its major achievements in the field of visual and performing arts, but also its limitations. Senghor's thought has not left the generations born after independence indifferent; it has been widely discussed, criticized and commented upon in the course of successive re-readings.