Roger DaSilva’s rediscovered repository reveals 1950s Senegal chic

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Celebrities, presidents and partygoers are all partial of a abounding repository of images from Senegal in a 1950s and 1960s mostly secret by a open until now.

They are a work of World War Two maestro Roger DaSilva who set adult his possess print studio in a collateral Dakar – “Studio Da Silva” – where many of these photos were taken.

“He was an artist during heart,” his son Luc DaSilva tells a BBC. “Photography was his life.”

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Roger DaSilva was never rigourously exhibited during his lifetime nonetheless he had a immeasurable physique of work of about 75,000 photographs on negatives, many of that sojourn unseen.

They have given been easy by a Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Le Korsa and Luc DaSilva’s Xaritufoto organization – with a preference of these now on arrangement during this weekend’s Also Known As Africa art and pattern satisfactory in Paris.

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Image caption

A woman, Madame Gomez, poses on tip of automobile with dual immature children stood by a vehicle.

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Roger DaSilva was innate in Benin and took adult photography when he assimilated a French army in 1942.

“He was bleeding while in service, so a colonel drafted him in to take medical photos in hospitals – some were of people who had survived thoroughness camps,” Luc says.

Soon after a fight finished DaSilva motionless to settle in Senegal.

At that time, Senegal like many other African countries was on a fork of independence. DaSilva’s photographs constraint Dakar’s high multitude of a epoch – a upscale nightclubs and weddings, as good as family portraits and travel scenes.

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

DaSilva cut a stylish figure himself, as his self-portraits show. In one, we see him staid with a cigarette in hand.

Another shows him jolt hands with US jazz idol Ella Fitzgerald during a 1966 World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar.

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

He also met and photographed jazz musician Louis Armstrong there, alongside Oscar-winning thespian Ingrid Bergman.

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Another important theme he prisoner was Senegal’s initial president, Léopold Sédar Senghor.

“I consider all of them done a large sense on him,” Luc says. “But Satchmo [Louis Armstrong’s nickname] was his favourite singer.”

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Image copyright
Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Restoration of these images has been a corner bid over several years.

“There’s a suggestion of fun and amusement in my father’s photos, we feel really tighten to his work,” says Luc.

“This is about repository and memory, and preserving and valuing African photography. It’s a common heritage.”

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Roger DaSilva/Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Image caption

Roger DaSilva 1925 – 2008

All images taken by Roger DaSilva, copyright of a Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and pleasantness of Xaritufoto and Le Korsa.