Thinking technology
Future imaginations workshop Dakar 2024

Future imaginations workshop Dakar 2024

On Saturday 18 May, Nit Tekna Logik organised a workshop entitled ‘Imagining the future’ with GIE Ngare Yone, a group of women from Hann Capa, as part of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Senegal’s sustainable urban development project.

The workshop lasted all day, starting at 9.30am with a group of 16 women, an intergenerational group that included schoolchildren, university students, shopkeepers and members of the GIE. Once the introductions had been made, the first challenge was to explain exactly what was involved in a workshop called ‘Imagining the future’, which is not an easy task, since its an invitation to transport ourselves into the future and express how we would like our neighbourhood and our city to look, and letting our imagination fly without limits.

But before taking us into the future, we wanted to identify the present in relation with the city through the senses: vision, taste, smell, touch and listening. This exercise led us to understand that the ocean is no longer blue, that fish taste of petrol, that the tom-tom taps until it’s too late, that pollution has worsened the living environment in Yaraax, that the concentration of factories has become a problem, and they are the cause of many accidents, that there is a lack of public space and houses are too small. So the 5 senses helped us to understand the daily reality of the women of Yaraax.

One of the aims of the workshop was to use the plastic arts to think about and materialise the living environment in which the women would like to live, so we came up with a range of coloured papers, glue, sticks, caps, bottles, leaves, pieces of cloth, etc., all of which the women used to create a mockup.

At Nit Tekna Logik we believe that art helps us to think freely, and that’s what we wanted to share with the women. Most of the women had no connection with the visual arts or other cultural expressions such as theatre, dance (except folklore), cinema, etc. Yet it was a challenge and at the same time a moment of exploration for all of them.

For two or three hours, they got together in groups and came up with models of the neighbourhood they would like to live in, and they did a marvellous job.

The catering was provided by Pâtisserie Kiné Diop, a project run by young women from Dalifort to empower women through entrepreneurship, training in open technology and the organisation of activities for the women of Dalifort.

In the afternoon, we resumed the workshop, but now the proposal was to discuss in groups how to implement the ideas they had thought up in the morning, to come up with potential solutions, and to point out certain difficulties linked to decision-making. The ideas included the need to raise people’s awareness of the need for clean public spaces, particularly in Hann Bay, decentralisation of infrastructure and factories, which are currently centralised in Dakar, regulating factory traffic and limiting it to night-time hours, setting up schools, and access to health care.

One of the conclusions of this workshop is the need to get the people directly concerned to think about how they want their living environment to look, to share with them concepts that are dealt with outside their immediate reality but which affect them, and to introduce art as a means of facilitating the expression and transmission of these ideas.