Dead Man Walking
It is from a portrait of Elom, a togolese Rapper in Dakar, that I realized that will have me meditate on the inheritance of the "distortion" of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba (the founder of Mouridism, religious islamic group under sufism) and his acolyte of yesteryear, Mame Cheikh Ibrahima Fall. Indeed, Mouridism is Muslim Brotherhood tending towards Sufism, which was founded by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba. A short ride to Rufisque, Elom & featuring talents pose in front of old buildings made by settlers, his face is hidden by the white veil that Serigne Touba used to wear and the African masks representing the ancestors. All this to show how tradition is important and the primordial identity in the era of globalization.
An African proverb tells us: "A man without tradition (identity) is one like a zebra without stripes".
Dead Man Walking portrays today’s imitations of the past. Every religion, tradition & culture is translated at each man’s benefit. The African culture is warped with attachment of new ideas on the old practices. How can we tell the real from the fake? The spiritual guide from the spiritual faux? The purification from the intoxication? The truth taken in convenient chunks to every man’s liking.
The misrepresentations of African religions, traditions, & culture led to the rupture of the soul throughout the journey. What were the true objectives of our ancestral rituals in our society as opposed to the modern day practices?
New Mediums have gentrified our culture. We turn these sacred practices into a trend or allow others to use it as a trend with misguided representation of the origin: cultural appropriation. It always leads to a dead end: a road to self-destruction and the conservation of pure healing practices of that community. This is the extinction of a culture: Soul floating at loss of the truth. Caution: Dead Man Walking!
In this series, you will see the present versus the past. The ancestors visit the new world through the youth & the lost souls seeking the ancestral intervention for clarity and purifications of the soul.
Let us be in tune with our ancestors and protect the spirits that were before us. They will guide us through our everyday soul searching adventures to fulfillment and peace for the next voyage to the higher power. Piece it together and Return in peace.
Curated by Ndeye Filly Gueye