By María Rodríguez
Dakar, Oct 7 (EFE).- Dakar’s subaquatic art museum, the first of its kind in West Africa, had a subdued opening in December 2021 but has since garnered growing attention from sea lovers.
About 100 meters off the coast of Dakar, there are artworks hiding underwater that one year after their installation have come to double up as an artificial reef.
The director of the Oceanium Diving Center, Rodwan El Ali, a diving enthusiast since childhood, started to shape the art project from his couch during his days off.
“I am someone who is either immersed in water, or watching underwater videos when I am at home,” he told Efe during an interview at the center’s restaurant.
“And so, I thought if this is something that exists in other places, why don’t I bring it home? (…) At the same time, my goal was to bring people underwater to explain to them about the environmental problems that we have,” he added.
The underwater art museum is located in front of the recreational center of Oceanium, a NGO dedicated to the protection of the environment since 1984.
The center has a restaurant and a diving club, all of which are managed by the sons and daughters of Haïdar El Ali —one of West Africa’s most influential ecologists and Senegal’s former environment minister.
For the museum’s inaugural underwater exhibition, curators presented six works by European artists Mischa Sanders and Philipp Putzer, who have lived in West Africa since 2018 and nowadays split their time between Senegal, France and Italy.
The pieces are submerged four meters (roughly 13 feet) underwater.