The Future Is in Your Hands
Portrait Photography from Senegal
Published by: Indiana University Press
In Senegal, portraiture serves as a vital index and creator of social connection. People sit for and display portraits, keep albums, and view illustrated magazines together. Through these portraiture practices, Senegalese have fashioned idealized images to mend fraught and fragmented lives in the context of decades of migration.
The Future Is in Your Hands provides an expansive frame for photography to highlight the role of affect in portraiture practices. Moving from the colonial to the newly independent Senegal, Beth Buggenhagen combines museum, ethnographic, and archival research on photography's past with lens-based artists who address themes of separation, visibility, rupture, and repatriation through portraiture. Buggenhagen, in collaboration with Senegalese photographers, explores how photographs, as visual and material objects, migrate themselves and, like the bodies they represent, create a record not only of lived experiences but also of the cycle of migration for this labor-exporting country.
By complicating the history of portraiture in Senegal, The Future Is in Your Hands reveals the enduring power of images and the efforts under way to keep this art form safely in Senegalese hands.
Introduction: Portraits and the Weight of the Future
1. "Uncontrollable Circulation": Portraiture in and out of Senegal
2. "Send Us Your Photos": Portraiture in Bingo Magazine
3. Family Portraits
4. Ibrahima Thiam's Vintage Portraits
5. Cut from the Same Cloth: Omar Victor Diop's "The Studio of Vanities"
Epilogue: New Thresholds for "Reigniting Collections"
"The book does a wonderful job of complicating histories of photography globally, and through a combination of historical and ethnographic work, shows the enduring but changing power of images in Senegal."~Joshua A. Bell, editor of Linguistic and Material Intimacies of Cell Phones
Indiana University Press is pleased to make this monograph freely available as an Open Access monograph. To read or download, visit https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/21727.