West Africa’s First Underwater Museum Brings Consideration to Surroundings

About 100 meters from the coast of Dakar, Senegal are eight sculptures rising from the ocean flooring, 5 meters under. The items of artwork are a part of Oceanium, an ocean diving heart and environmental group within the capital of the West African nation.

Dutch and Italian artists Mischa Sanders and Philipp Putzer created the sculptures whereas coaching in Dakar.

VOA and different media weren’t in a position to go to the sculptures throughout a deliberate go to not too long ago due to poor climate.

The works had been first proven at Dakar’s artwork occasion which ended this week. The purpose is to convey extra consideration to the air pollution that surrounds the sculptures within the hopes of making a dialogue concerning the surroundings.

Charlotte Thomas is Oceanium’s head of communications. Thomas mentioned, “You see, right here in Senegal, the air pollution is in all places.” She added, “You go into Dakar and also you see waste throughout you. And with the wet season coming, it is going to enter the ocean. So, if we aren’t defending our land, we can not shield our sea.”

Moreover Senegal’s excessive plastic air pollution, improvement tasks during the last ten years have significantly modified the shoreline and damage the simply broken surroundings. Fish shares have significantly dropped as business and native fishing boats proceed to make use of unsustainable fishing strategies.

In 2015, the federal government handed a regulation banning single-use plastic, however it was by no means enforced. Since then, different related legal guidelines have handed, however these by no means went into impact both.

A sculpture by artist Fabrice Monteiro at Oceanium in Dakar, Senegal.  (Annika Hammerschlag/VOA News)

A sculpture by artist Fabrice Monteiro at Oceanium in Dakar, Senegal. (Annika Hammerschlag/VOA Information)

Senegal-born Rodwan El Ali, the diving director of Oceanium, oversees the underwater artwork undertaking. El Ali mentioned in French, “I reside underwater, and I can see that the areas that had been so stunning once I was younger, at present not solely are there no fish left, however they have been changed by plastic bottles, cans and all types of issues. It is painful for me.”

El Ali mentioned he used to see massive ocean animals like dolphins, whales and sharks. He mentioned he additionally caught fish that had been his he dimension. Now, he mentioned, there’s hardly something left.

“We’re in a rustic the place the surroundings will not be a precedence” He added, “Perhaps [politicians] point out it in speeches, however in actuality, they do nothing. Nobody is monitoring, nobody is doing something. You might exit to sea and do no matter you need and nobody will cease you.”

Because the sculptures had been positioned underwater in December, they’ve given rise to their very own ecosystem. The sculptures are fabricated from a cloth referred to as clay. They’re coated in sea life like barnacles, shellfish and urchins. Fish go to typically to search out shelter and feed on vegetation.

Organizers say they plan to tackle native artists to create new sculptures that shall be added to the items over time.

I am Gregory Stachel.

Annika Hammerschlag reported this story for Voice of America. Gregory Stachel tailored it for VOA Studying English.

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Phrases in This Story

sculpture – n. a chunk of artwork that’s made by carving or molding clay, stone, or metallic

sustainability – adj. involving strategies that don’t utterly expend or destroy pure sources

precedence – n. one thing that’s extra vital than different issues and that must be carried out or handled first

point out – v. to speak about, write about, or check with (one thing or somebody) particularly in a short approach

monitor – v. to look at, observe, hearken to, or examine (one thing) for a particular objective over a time period

ecosystem – n. the whole lot that exists in a specific surroundings

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