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Global Jewelry: Senegal in Dialogue

We are the past, but we are also the present because we are all close to the entire world. We tweet, we message, we are present on social networks, we go to the village for religious ceremonies as well as to the Venice Biennale or FESPACO.
—Anta Germaine Gaye, artist and professor, Dakar

Senegal, as it has for centuries, remains in dialogue with the world. As cultural innovators, Senegalese women and the goldsmiths who adorn them absorb and transform global fashion trends, expressing their own complex identities while contributing to the realm of international fashion. Their styles and designs embrace change, yet remain resolutely local and grounded in history and tradition—a tradition and practice that involves constant innovation.

With the ever-increasing speed of communications in the contemporary global city, economic, cultural, and political competition have increased. Women have, in their world of changing possibilities, fought within and against these parameters to access, harness, and control the various fabrics of a globalized cityscape through jewelry and dress. In “performing” themselves, they perform—and shape—the city and the world.
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