March 26, 2018

Matrix involved in Alliance for African Partnership conference in Dakar, Senegal

Tags: Africa, Alliance for African Partnership

Recently, from February 21 to March 2, Michael Green represented Matrix on a trip to Dakar, Senegal with the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP). The goals of the trip included building interdisciplinary, inter-institutional communication, collaboration, and partnerships, and Michael helped facilitate meetings between existing Matrix partners and representatives from the AAP. The trip presented excellent opportunities to meet with partners and plan projects, and to share the digital capacities, objects, and websites Matrix has made with institutional partners in the past.

The trip included visits to ImagiNation Afrika (partners Karima Grant, Fatimata Dieng), the West African Research Center (partners Ousmane Sene, Marianne Yade, Abdoulye Niang), Institut Fondamental D’Afrique Noire-Université Cheikh Anta Diop (IFAN-UCAD), partners Ibrahima Thiaw, Adama Athie), a grantee site in Niakhene, and the Theodore Monod Museum. At each place Michael and the AAP team got to see ongoing projects, discuss potential future projects, and build collaborations that could help each institution in the future. Along the way, he helped with everything from scheduling site visits and transportation to assisting with audiovisual concerns and presentations.

One of the most exciting aspects of the trip, Michael says, was its substantive interdisciplinary dialogues: “it was great being able to come to the same table and discuss something close to our hearts.” A lot can be accomplished across great distances with international partnerships, but getting to be in the same place and interact face to face helps create mutual understanding and support. Amazing things are happening in Senegal, and Matrix is honored to partner with institutions there and elsewhere to further innovative and transformative work.

Michael’s favorite part of the trip was the opportunity to share meals with folks from partner projects and AAP. Communal meals of thiéboudienne (a fish and rice dinner) and attaya (a tea) were the perfect complements to exciting days of discussing, brainstorming, and collaborating.