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ON SITE

Dak’Art 2006

JUST OPPOSITE DAKAR, off the coast of Senegal, lies the island of Gorée. A rocky mass with a small harbor at one end and high cliffs at the other, it has no natural springs and precious little vegetation. The sun shines hot. Despite these inhospitable conditions it is covered with colonial buildings of undeniable charm. Some are grand but derelict; many more are small but well kept. The majority, it seems, are the property of absentee owners who make seasonal visits. Artists also number among the inhabitants, notably the late Mustapha Dime, the creator of elegantly raw wood and metal sculptures, an example of which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The rest make handicrafts and acrylics for the tourists who swarm to Gorée on ferries from the mainland.

Besides its markets, restaurants, and striking landscape, the main attraction is a small compound on the west

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