CATEGORYDiversity/ Inclusion | Participation
YEAR2011 - Present
The library RAW Base is a rich collection of books, films, newspapers and other resources specialized in contemporary art with a focus on practices, ideas and works coming from the African continent. At RAW Material Company we consider that the disciplines and fields of inquiry and creation that are related to our existence are expansive, and include not only art but architecture, fashion, literature, critical theory and political science, to name just a few. Taking as a point of departure the idea that preservation is the main goal of any library or archival space, we ask ourselves how useful the ideas preserved are if they are never unearthed, juxtaposed, inverted, replaced or disturbed. RAW Base provides a relatively unique opportunity in Dakar for members of the public to not only have access to its resources, but to see them frequently activated through book clubs, public programming, exhibitions and installations. Dakar has very few public libraries, and students in particular suffer from the lack of space available to study, and where they can be in close contact with a wide variety of resources from a range of fields. RAW Material Company is located in a neighborhood populated by a large number of institutes of higher education, and is a short walk from the city’s main public university – Cheikh Anta Diop University. Through word of mouth, RAW Base has become a popular space for students who consult our resources, and use our space for independent or group study. This has allowed us to develop a sustained and deep relationship with student populations in the city, and to gain greater insight into the subjects they are working on, the questions they have, and their needs. RAW Base has also become a useful point of entry into the broader programming of RAW for publics who otherwise may not have related to the center. Students that frequent RAW Base feel at home in our space, and now attend most of our programming and develop conversations and relationships with artists who we collaborate with, as they come together in a horizontal fashion in the library around a shared desire to engage in research and learn.
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