Excursion to Senegal 2009

© Brigitte Reinwald

From 1 to 17 February 2010, 15 students of History, Social Sciences and the Masters European Studies travelled to Senegal under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Brigitte Reinwald and accompanied by PD Dr. Kirsten Rüther and PD Dr. Ulrike Schmieder. The excursion took place as part of the lectures and seminars on the history of Senegal in the 19th and 20th centuries given by Prof. Reinwald in the summer semester 2009 and winter semester 2009/10. The organisational preparations were in the hands of Brigitte Reinwald, Kirsten Rüther and Solenne Mazaleyrat as well as Abdou Karim Sané from the Freundeskreis Tambacounda e.V.

Dakar, the capital of Senegal, was the first stop. The programme included developing contacts with the teachers and students of the Département d'Histoire of the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, a lecture by Brigitte Reinwald on "Le forcement est fini!" Les anciens combattants voltaïques et l'agencement des indépendances, 1945 à 1960 at the University of Dakar, visits to Dakar (guided tour of the city, tour of Dakar's cultural history, visit to the Museum of African Art and the Armed Forces Museum) and to Gorée Island off Dakar (History Museum, Slave House). The excursion participants also travelled to the old colonial capital Saint-Louis in the north of the country, where the historical centre and the fishing quarter Guet Ndar were visited, and to Joal-Fadiouth, where a visit to the birthplace of Leópold Senghor and the city's children's hospital were on the agenda, as well as a tour of Fadiouth Island. In Tambacounda, the provincial capital in south-eastern Senegal, the Hanoverian guests received insights into education and medical care in guided tours of two primary schools and the municipal hospital after inaugural visits to regional and local officials (governor, prefect and mayor), but a visit to the municipal waste disposal site was also on the programme. In addition, thematic lectures and workshops were held at the Centre d'Énergie solaire et d'Hygiène, where Brigitte Reinwald and Ulrike Schmieder presented research results from the History Department of Leibniz University Hanover. School inspector Dr Djibril Seck conducted a workshop on Senegal's colonial cinema history and Eloi Coly, curator of the Maison des Esclaves (Slave House) in Gorée, on the topic of reparations for the transatlantic slave trade.

A return visit by students and doctoral candidates to Hanover is to be planned. Some Hanoverian students intend to write their theses on topics of Senegalese history. All participants were able to establish personal contacts in Senegal and gain a differentiated picture of Senegalese society and culture.