One picture per week – this was the idea and form behind a photographic dialogue between the artist Simone Gilges from Berlin and the photojournalist Mamadou Gomis from Dakar. For three years, from 2008 to 2011, they exchanged one photo per week via the Internet: Each picture was a formal or thematic reaction to the previous one.
The result of this exchange is a voyage of discovery to two countries and two cultures, and also the everyday lives of the two photographers. Their impressions of their own environments include the everyday and the exceptional, the collective and the personal, and the profane and the sacred. The photos are sequenced in both exhibition and catalogue to enable comparison, and this often shows the enormous differences between these two worlds, and also reveals surprising commonalities, as well as personal passion, insecurity, and enthusiasm.
The two cities of Berlin and Dakar are glorified, but also viewed critically, often mercilessly so. Both photographers present a diverse portrait of their own country, and their pictures comment on their own lives and the lives of each other.
This exchange project led to the photo book and the exhibition Dakar / Berlin, both produced by ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations). The exhibition was shown in 2012 in Berlin and in 2013 in Dakar. Over coming years, it will tour a number of sub-Saharan African states.
Simone Gilges, born in 1973 in Bonn, Germany, has been working since 1966 as a freelance photographer in Berlin. She documents the permanent processes of change in Berlin, and the city’s music and art scenes. Gilges was a member of the artists‘ group Honey-Suckle Company and from 2003 to 2009 published freier – Magazin für Befindlichkeit. Her photographs have been shown in international exhibitions since 1998. In 2008 Simone Gilges took part in the ifa workshop prêt-à-partager.
Mamadou Gomis, born in 1976 in Ndoulo, Senegal, has been working as a photographer since 1992, and since 1999 as a reporter for daily newspapers, press agencies and aid organisations in Senegal and abroad. He is vice president of the Union des Photojournalistes du Sénégal (UNJP). Since 2005 his photographs have been exhibited internationally and they have won him several prizes for photography. In 2008 Mamadou Gomis took part in the ifa workshop prêt-à-partager.