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FESMIR : 1 - 10 March 2013 - The Battle for the Sea

We have met Mamadou NDiaye, better known as THIA in the arts world, regularly during last years and recognised the versatiliy and social engagement of his artistic mission.

The latest tribute to his inspiring work was the interview with him in the occasion of his participation in the exhibition "Memory of the Penc and villages in Dakar", the third edition of that festival on Lebou culture, which took place on 17 July 2012 in the Grand Theatre of Dakar.

Over the years, he has also taken some cues from the work of Mundus maris.

This was becoming more evident in the occasion of the works he displayed at the Festival of the Penc, where he himself highlighted the interest in putting the sea and the need for its protection into the centre of his artistic production.

This is why we are particularly pleased to collaborate actively with the forthcoming festival FESMIR.

Its motto is taken from the title of the 2002 documentary "Battle for the Sea" of the Senegalese film director Moustapha Ndoye. Ndoye passed away prematurely, but has left a lasting impact on the collective memory.

"Battle for the Sea" is a most fitting title for associating the arts to the social and environmental struggle, particularly of traditional fisherfolk, for their place in rebuilding healthy marine ecosystems and in society at large.

Mundus maris has been invited to contribute to the programme of the 2013 edition of FESMIR and to act as a sponsor, an invitation which we are only to happy to comply with. 


Aliou Sall, Vice-President of Mundus maris, therefore met THIA and the group of organisers and artists in the preparation of the festival to discuss practical collaboration.

They met in THIA's workshop in early February and discussed in some detail how best to articulate the inputs to FESMIR.

The photo to the right shows the group in lively conversation: (from left to right) .

Mamadou NDiaye, called "THIA"; Mouhamadou Moustapha Diack, Coach of FESMIR; Aliou Sall; Daouda Dia, art photographer specialised in the theme of water; and Gaelle Kouaté, better known under her art name "Cassis".

Stay tuned to the next steps and the different artistic and social activities of FESMIR 2013, including the children's programme.


The Mirror International Festival (FESMIR) Dakar: 2013 Edition for adults

Very active participation of Mundus maris

The 2013 edition of the International Dakar Mirror Festival (FESMIR) was originally scheduled for the period from 1 to 10 March 2013. But in the event it experienced such a success that it was extended until the last week of March.


Based on the partnership that FESMIR developed since three years with Mundus maris, our association was initially invited to lead the debate scheduled for March 4 and focused on the rarefaction of Thiof, the iconic species in Senegal.


As the festival managers had additional expectations towards Mundus maris, we have been called to lead two additional workshops. 


The first workshop that the local team animated involved updating the network of artists that develops in Senegal.


Indeed, after being inspired by the vision of Mundus maris on one hand and its collaboration with Greenpeace since several years on the other, the leader of this festival, Mamadou Ndiaye "THIA" took a thematic orientation focusing more on the theme of the sea.



In view of the 2013 edition of FESMIR, which already bore the sea in his title, THIA has collaborated with five visual artists from different regions to encourage them to exhibit on this topic.


THIA's effort has paid insofar as more than 100 paintings dedicated to the sea and the challenges it faces were exposed by the artists of this emerging network.



In order to update the artists who have joined THIA in this new dynamic that one afternoon of FESMIR was spent engaging them with the local work of Mundus maris, to help artists better capture our vision and achievements.


Apart from the young artists present who displayed their creations, other participants took part in this FESMIR session, including local elected officials, trainees at the schools of international trade and of tourism and a technical advisor to the Minister of Culture.


Pupils from Dakar-Plateau celebrate in their own way

Then Mundus maris was again invited to engage during the last week of March in the portion of the festival focused on youth for the first time.


This involved the active participation of schools in the activities of artists. Their contribution was conducted under the coordination of the Senegalese artist THIA.


Indeed, the pupils participated through a session of artistic creation "junior". This brought them up to speed with our campaign against fishing of juveniles of fish species.


Using supports which they had received (fish rulers, posters on baby fish) the pupils have developed some artistic pieces on two main themes: the fishing of juveniles and marine pollution.


This session happened at the end of the day dedicated to Thiof (White Grouper), the emblematic endangered species in Senegal.


These kids from all eight elementary schools in Dakar-Plateau were also informed by the adults responsible for FESMIR about the competition Mundus maris that conducted to search for names for its mascots through the submission of stories that the children had developed about the adventures of baby fish. The students were frustrated at not having been able to participate.


It was an opportunity to look back on projects with other schools involved with the pilot activities with FAO and its Nansen Project.


An educational package based on the ecosystem approach to fisheries was one of the results. Thus, the elements of the case were explained and made available to the pupils who have decided to make it echo with their teachers. This demonstration was concluded by a session for which Mundus maris provided coloring sheets and coloring pencils. These sheets had been produced to attract children's attention on the urgent need to protect the baby fish, because everywhere overfishing, including the capture of juveniles, endangers the species that are eaten by humans.

Finally, the group of young musicians and dancers "Topla" coached by THIA since about six years laid on a performance to accompany the coloring and painting workshop on 27 March 2013 at the National Gallery, where simultaneously THIA and the other artists exposed on the theme of the sea and fishing. This last event amazed also a few other visitors who came in at the last minute to visit the FESMIR exhibition, which was about to close.