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!
NSBD team with interns from the Staten Island Children’s Museum.
On our second trip to Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn where there is a large community of Senegalese migrants, our teens visited the popular Senegalese restaurant, Joloff, located on 1168 Bedford Avenue. Prior to our trip, our teens had only heard of traditional Senegalese food courtesy of our program manager who visited Dakar in December.
The food was good. It came came out really fast and the portions were big. Brittney E.
The food was very good and the service was awesome. Sheba B.
At Joloff, we enjoyed traditional Senegalese and Senegalese-American hybrid cuisine courtesy of Papa K. Diagne. They were eager to try pasteles and bissap, which they raved about. Many of them made connections between bissap and sorrel as well as how the flavors in the food were reminiscent of Caribbean dishes.
Fish and vegetarian appetizers served at Joloff restaurant.
Papa K. Diagne (standing) and one of our NSBD teens (sitting).
Teen observing an exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Brooklyn has a very rich history and our teens had the opportunity to learn more about it after experiencing Inventing Brooklyn: People, Places, Progress, an exhibit created by high school students in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Exhibition Laboratory program. The exhibit examines how people, places, and historical events have shaped the development or Brooklyn throughout the years.
During our visit to the Brooklyn Historical Society, located in Brooklyn Heights, our teens got a better understanding of how much time and effort is needed to put on a successful exhibit like the one they saw while they were. With only a few months left to showcase our very own Next Stop: Brooklyn/Dakar exhibit at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, our teens returned to Crown Heights feeling both anxious and excited for the upcoming weeks of planning and building.
Here is what some of our teens had to say about the experience:
“It was creative that teenagers came up with the idea – it [the exhibit] was very nice.” Sheba B.
“I enjoyed learning about Brooklyn and exploring the exhibit’s layout. The fact that the it was run by students shows that we can do great things at our age.” Marie L.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was excited to host four Senegalese cultural workers on a cold Thursday afternoon. They were eager to hear about the Next/Stop: Brooklyn Dakar Project as well as explore our space and learn about our collections.
What was supposed to be a 45 minute visit turned into nearly two hours and our visitors were really excited to learn about BCM and ImagiNationAfrika; so much so that we are working on ways to collaborate and build and even deeper, richer project.
Here are: Mr. Oumar Ben Khatape DANFAKHA, Director, Louga Cultural Center; Ms. Fatou Binetou DIENG, Director, Pikine Leopold Sedar Senghor Cultural Center; Mr. Latsouck NDIAYE, General Manager and Scheduling Officer, Cafe des Arts; and Mr. Thomas THIABO, Director, Cultural Center Parcelles Assainies marveling at our collections.