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Public Culture

An interdisciplinary journal of transnational cultural studies

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Visual "Literature" in Urban Senegal

Allen F. Roberts and Mary Nooter Roberts

art•works, n., pl.: brief reports on innovative critical cultural work within and outside established institutions: new kinds of museums; alternative or oral history projects; the expansion of musical performance and recording into forgotten musical histories or the dissemination of a broader range of musics; alternative publishing ventures or exhibition practices in film, theater, and dance; innovative cultural work with children; public art and art in public such as murals and graffiti; innovative uses of television, radio, or other mass media; and reports on past cultural work—the modernist, socialist, and avant-garde counterinstitutions of the early twentieth century

Visual “Literature” in Urban Senegal

Allen F. Roberts and Mary Nooter Roberts

Pape Samb left rural Senegal as a ten-year-old orphan, traveling to the capital city of Dakar. He has spent the last forty years there, in a fishing village squeezed between factory yards in the portside industrial park of Belaire. Samb has remained single, and his tiny one-room shack has just enough space for his hammock.

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Public Culture is a reviewed interdisciplinary journal of cultural studies, published three times a year in Fall, Winter, and Spring for the Institute for Public Knowledge by Duke University Press. The journal's full archives are available online at

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