NSBD Teens Reflect on Using HD DSLR Camera

In addition to learning more about Senegalese culture through dance and interviewing Senegalese artists, our teens have also been learning how to film, photograph, and shoot b roll scenes with a HD DSLR camera. Before this project started many of our teens had very little to no experience using HD DSLR cameras, but after several months of hands on practice they have gotten well accustomed to operating the camera independently. The majority of the images that will be featured in the exhibit were captured by our NSBD teens!

Here is what some of our teens had to say about their experience using the HD DSLR camera:

While building the exhibit I learned a lot of vocational skills like camera techniques, interviewing skills, b roll, and photography. Learning these skills has helped me a lot in my media class at school.  Carliste B.

I really like using the camera and doing interviews. It’s really fun. Sheba B.

I am a lot more comfortable using the camera now. Senee R.

Revisiting Fulton Street, Brooklyn

After revisiting Fulton Street, our teens were able to find more Senegalese influenced businesses in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Some of the places they found include a barber shop, a jewelery store, and a small cafe called Le Paris Dakar. While exploring the neighborhood they also spoke to several business owners as they photographed their experience.

Le Paris Dakar sidewalk food menu

Food menu found on the sidewalk in front of Le Paris Dakar.

Creating Teams for NSBD Project

In order to maximize the amount of time we have left to work on the project, we decided to split the NSBD team into four teams: the exhibit design team, the curation team, the research team, and the web team. Members from each team will rotate in and out of different groups as needed, but everyone has a specific are of focus for the remainder of the project.

The exhibit team is responsible for drafting the final layout of the exhibit. The curation team is responsible for selecting the images and assets that will be included in the exhibit. The research team has to ensure that the information presented is both interesting and accurate. Finally, the web team will launch a full project web site that encompasses the work of both groups, the students in Senegal and Brooklyn, will include downloads.

Brooklyn Teens Trip to the Staten Island Children’s Museum

With only a few weeks remaining until we launch our Next Stop: Brooklyn/Dakar exhibit, our team decided to take a trip to the Staten Island to present our work to a group of teens at the Staten Island Children’s Museum. When we arrived at the Staten Island Children’s Museum we were warmly welcomed and immediately jumped into a series of fun icebreakers and reflection exercises. After the exercises, we shared our presentation on the Next Stop: Brooklyn/Dakar project. During the presentation our teens shared some very useful background information about the project and also revealed some behind the scenes  footage of our adventures in Brooklyn. Following the presentation, we were given a wonderful tour of the Staten Island Children’s Museum, courtesy of intern hosts!

Check out some of the photographs from our adventures; they’re posted on our tumblr page!

SICM and BCM group photo

NSBD team with interns from the Staten Island Children’s Museum.

Voyage à Thiès, suite et fin !


Durant ce voyage dans la capitale du Rail, les élèves se sont transformés en réalisateurs, caméramen, preneurs de son, régisseurs et ont interviewé pour les besoins de leur film entre autres, le président de l’association des bambaras, le chef du village Tatène Bambara, un ancien cheminot… ainsi que d’autres témoins de cette histoire des migrants maliens. Le film sera monté par les élèves la semaine prochaine et sera projeté en boucle tout au long de l’exposition du 8 au 22 Juin.


Les impressions des élèves suite à ce voyage :

« Enrichissant »

« Super »

« Délicieux »

« Expérience »

« Joie »

« Merveilleux »

« Agréable »

« Pédagogique »

« Magnifique »

« Important »

« Intéressant »

« Instructif »

« Fabuleux »

« Fatiguant »

« Riche »

« Amusant »


Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market Trip

During a recent trip to the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market, located in Harlem, New York, our teens witnessed the bustling community of African immigrants living and working along West 116th Street. On our way to the market we stopped to photograph the various stores and local businesses in the community. Many of the establishments we found there were reminiscent of some of the places we located during our Fulton Street excursion in Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

Here are some of the photographs we took during our Harlem trip:

W 116th St stores

Photograph of local establishments along W 116th Street, located in Harlem, New York.

Harlem Market Welcome Sign

Photograph of the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market welcome sign.

Interviewing Konate Primus

On our last visit to Cumbe, our teens had the honor of finishing their eight week-long Senegalese performing arts learning experience with a final drum circle workshop courtesy the very talented Konate Primus. Before starting the drum lesson, our teens sat down with Konate for a 30-minute interview about his life as an African American drummer, who was heavily influenced by Senegalese arts and culture.

Konate was born in Brooklyn, New York, to parents of both American and West Indian descent. He describes his childhood as being similar to that of any other typical child  growing up in Brooklyn, New York, except the only difference is  instead of hanging out with friends he spent hours learning and practicing African drum rhythms at his parents’ dance school. Although his parents were not of Senegalese descent, Konate and his family had a deep appreciation for the Senegalese culture, which led them to adopt many of the Senegalese customs they practiced at home.

Even after the interview ended, Konate continued to share wonderful stories about how drumming and Senegalese culture has influenced his life and contributed to his growth as a drummer.

NSBD teens interviewing Konate Primus

NSBD teens interviewing Konate Primus.

NSBD learning sabar with Konate Primus.

NSBD learning sabar with Konate Primus.

Learning Sabar with Lamine Thiam and Konate Primus

Once again our adventure has brought us back to Cumbe! This time our students learned percussion with master percussionists Lamine Thiam and Konate Primus.

Lamine Thiam is a world-renowned dancer, choreographer, drummer, and actor. Born in Senegal, Lamine specializes in traditional West African dance and rhythms such as sabar, djembe, and bougarrabou. He has studied at the Consevatoire National du Senegal (in Dakar) and performed with the Songomar African Dance Comapany and Ballet Jo-Kolly.

After interviewing Lamine, our teens sat down with our instructor, Konate Primus and learned about sabar, a traditional drumming style, which developed in ways similar to American jazz. The sabar rhythm we practiced was called takk ci ripp.

Photo of Lamine Thiam

Photograph of Lamine Thiam.

Drumming with Konate Primus

Konate Primus teaching NSBD teens how to play the takk ci ripp rhythm.

Interviewing Malang Bayo

During our final week of learning contemporary dance with Papa Sy, our teens had the honor of meeting the legendary Malang Bayo, master dancer, choreographer and former member of the National Ballet of Senegal. After greeting Mr. Bayo and learning about his recent visit to Senegal our teens sat down with him for a 30-minute interview.

During the interview our teens learned about Mr. Bayo’s exciting career. Malang Bayo is a very accomplished artist. His entire career has been devoted to teaching the art of African song and dance. He is well versed in the folklore and dance of the Wolof, Mandinka, Djola, and Bambara people of Senegal. His own performance company, Mussukeba Sane West African Ballet was founded in 1992. They have performed lectures and demonstrations for schools and colleges throughout the country. In addition to this Malang Bayo has also provided choreography for several dance companies, including Silimbo D’Adeane West African Dance company in Boston, Maimouna Keita School of African Dance in New York, and Teye’ Sa Thiossanne African Dance Company in San Diego.

Photograph of Malang Bayo

Photograph of Malang Bayo during the interview.