Musée dynamique, Dakar, 1965–1966
© photograher unknown, Photo Artis, Archives MEN
La Suisse présente la Suisse au Musée dynamique, Dakar, 26 novembre 1971 – 29 février 1972
© Photo H. Dürst, Swiss Federal Archives
Installation of the exhibition La Suisse présente la Suisse, Musée dynamique, Dakar, 1971
© Photo Walter Hugentobler, Archives MEN
Information Leaflet, 210 × 420 mm
© Graphic Design: Werberei Woodtli, Swiss Federal Archives

Présence suisse au Sénégal. Rôle du design graphique dans une exposition au musée Dynamique de Dakar

January 2019 to June 2020

Leading institution: HEAD – Genève
Applicant and project manager: Daniel Sciboz (HEAD – Genève)
Partners: Bernard Knodel (Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel), El Hadji Malick Ndiaye (Musée Th. Monod/ IFAN / Ch. A. Diop)
Associate Resesarchers: Constance Delamadeleine (HEAD – Genève), Mamadou Diallo (Columbia University)
Experts: Claire-Lise Debluë (UNIL), Matthieu Gillabert (UniFr), Noémi Michel (UniGe), Sarah Owens (ZHdK)
Institutions partenaires:Musée d’ethnographie de NeuchâtelMusée Théodore Monod d’art africain, IFAN / Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar
Financing: HES-SO
Co-financing: HEAD – Genève
Support: F. and W. Grünbaum Foundation, Maison Borel Foundation

From 26 November 1971 to 29 February 1972, the La Suisse présente la Suisse exhibition opened a new chapter in cultural relations with Senegal. Under the Aegis of Pro Helvetia, this show was held in the Musée Dynamique in Dakar, which was inaugurated in 1966, and modeled on the extension to the Ethnographical Museum in Neuchâtel, built in 1955. Bringing together about a thousand objects, like so many historical and aesthetic references, La Suisse présente la Suisse , despite not strictly speaking an exhibition focusing on graphic design, appears as akin to a demonstration of expertise in the field.

This research project aim to identify possible interpretations on the history of graphic design by examining the role of graphic design from the early stages to the implementation of La Suisse présente la Suisse, and to better understand how forms to which the «swiss style» is connected has been transfered in the context of postcolonial Senegal throughout this exhibition.

Historical research is for its main part based on archival sources available at the Swiss Federal Archives in Bern and at the Museum of Ethnography in Neuchâtel.

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