Photographer Judith Quax bought a 30-year-old Mercedes and decided to drive it to Dakar. Quax started the journey in Amsterdam, together with her four-year-old Dutch-Senegalese son Noah who took charge of the directions.
In many cities along the way, they stayed with Senegalese family and friends. Some join them for parts of the journey, or put parcels in the car to be taken home. Others share their stories about longing, fatherland and being separated from their beloved ones. Every day the car is full of exchanges that are recorded by the camera on the windshield that looks into the car or onto the road. New passengers are welcomed; the sand coloured station wagon becomes a ship in the desert of the hardening migration debate.
What started out as a wish to introduce her son to his fatherland and Senegalese family, leads to a journey against the stream of migration. It becomes a trip full of stories not only about migration but also about longing, fatherland, people living separately from their families, a mother-child relationship and the meaning and use of photography in West-African culture.
Little Noah is the guide and talisman of the journey. Being both African and European, he travels freely between The Incredible Hulk and Le Belle Histiore de Leuk le Lièvre – the Panafrican story by Senegalese poet Senghor – read out to him by his family along the way and his grandmother in Dakar.
Together with graphic designer René Put (known for his work for The Last Book of Reinier Gerritsen, published by Aperture), Paradox and Judith Quax are working on a book. Still under development is a multimedia exhibition consisting film, photography and objects. Paradox and Judith Quax are also looking in to the options of publishing a website or app where you can follow Judith and Noah’s journey.
From April 3 until June 5 of 2016, Voyage à Dakar was shown at Fotodok, Utrecht as part of the group show ‘There’s something about my family’. Other artist shown were Michael Anhalt (DE), Sara Blokland (NL), Vicky von der Fuhr (NL), Vincent Gouriou (FR), Pieter Hugo (ZA), Eddo Hartmann (NL), Marjolein Busstra and Rebekka van Hartskamp (NL), Vardi Kahana (IS), Anaïs López (NL), Paulien Bakker (NL) and Anisleidy Martinez (CU), Petra Mrsa (HR), Ad Nuis and Arthur van den Boogaard (NL), Uljana Orlova (NL), Judith Quax (NL), Jana Romanova (RU) and Phillip Toledano (UK).