Dana Louis collaborated with local women on an enormous dress called La Grande Robe. In Dana’s own words:

“Having spent much time in West Africa over the last 15 years, it is clear to me that rice is largely the sustenance of the continent, requires an inordinate amount of work and careful attention and I wanted to express this. After spending several weeks in the village of Sinthian I realized that the focus of one project would be the women there.  There are many ways with which I could have ‘taken’ images and stories to create new work, yet I wanted the project to go deeper and trusted that, with patience, more would be available to me and to the village residents. I embedded myself in the community, learning from them and teaching yoga and drawing, among other things. The women there are a force and exude strength, tenacity, perseverance and creativity with a constant joie de vivre imbuing all of their activities. From watering gardens at the crack of dawn to firing ceramic pots into the night, they are unflappable and energetically buoy the village with their smiles and amazing style. This is all done as they care for and participate in family and village life. Dress is important, and they always elegantly display their finest.”

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