Dakar's long-awaited African art biennale returns

STORY: Senegalese artist Fally Sene Sow takes his inspiration from the chaotic street market outside his studio.

But over two years of global health crisis, the view from his window has changed.

His installation, now filling a 300-square foot room at the 14th Dakar Biennale, includes collapsing buildings, skeletons hanging next to hybrid animals, and decaying waste that generates heat.

It's an apocalyptic vision of what his neighborhood could become - inspired by what Sow observed as he waited through lockdowns.

"In the meantime, I saw nature reacting on this. For example, spiders started weaving webs on houses, birds building their nests, even rainwater reacting. It created a tipping point. I said to myself "we are living at a tipping point", I said to myself that I was going to follow the news because it is time that does the work. So that's why I created this chaotic world. "

Expectations have been high for this year's biennale - one of continent's oldest large-scale celebrations of contemporary African art.

Its return, having been postponed in 2020, is expected to attract 250,000 art lovers to the capital.

Among those who saw Sow's work was Ifeoma Dile, who flew from London for the event.

"How long it must have taken him to create that in this space? It is amazing, it is mind-blowing."

Sow's pieces are not aimed at critics but people in his community. He says few in Senegal have access to art.

After two years of hardship, he hopes his scenes of every day life will give audiences a reason to laugh whilst also engaging in the deeper meanings.