Artists' portrait... Zoom on Roger DaSilva

The AKAA fair ("Also Known As Africa") will expose the work of Roger DaSilva for the first time outside of Senegal. This fair of contemporary art and design dedicated to Africa, highlights a selection of artists and artworks with a common goal: the influence of African art. It will take place from 9 to 11 November 2019 in Paris.

Zoom on... Roger DaSilva

Roger DaSilva sur Kelen, African Art event manager
© Courtesy of Xaritufoto

Roger DaSilva was born in French West Africa, in Porto Novo (Benin), in December 1925. He left for Saint-Louis in Senegal in 1935. He studied at Faidherbe High School until 1942. He was sent to France to participate in the Alsace, Rhine and Danube campaign.

Injured, he finds himself at the Béziers hospital where the colonel surgeon takes him as a laboratory assistant and introduces him to photography. His first photos are of the wounded and burned. Then, he is in charge of taking pictures of the return of the captives from the camps. He kept from this experience some sensitivity to the discomforting anatomical takes.

Back after the victory at the age of 22, he plays in theater. He tap dances with his company "Dakar Claquettes" on the stages of Dakar and Senegal, and photographs the independence of Senegal.

Roger DaSilva sur Kelen, African event manager
Madame Gomez and children, Dakar, c. 1958 © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, courtesy of Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

DaSilva's photography is diversified. He immortalizes moments, places and faces: from an ordinary family, boxers at the end of their fight, to Louis Armstrong at a party.

He draws a complete portrait of the everyday life in Dakar, its inhabitants and its visitors. Black and white photos anchored in diversity which reflect a lot of diversity and life in the Senegalese capital.

Roger DaSilva sur Kelen, African event planner
Self portrait with Ella Fitzgerald, c.1952 © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, courtesy of Xaritufoto and Le Korsa

His photographic heritage is about 75,000 photographs, including 100 photos which have been selected by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

With the help of his son, Luc DaSilva, and his Senegalese foundation "Xaritufoto", the restoration of some shoots, now part of Senegalese artistic heritage, has been implemented.

Roger DaSilva dies in Dakar in 2008.

Discover other pictures from the talented Roger DaSilva

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Artistically yours,


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