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Papa Mendy

BARÇA/BARZAK: The immigrant’s hope

We are hosting a pop up shop featuring furniture by Senegalese artist Papa Mendy in conjunction with Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks, and Pathways. Each piece is handcrafted and made one-of-a-kind from repurposed wood sourced from traditional West African boats.

"The canoe is legendary. Noah used it to save humanity. Westerners have used it for four centuries for the needs of the slave trade. My African brothers use it for illegal immigrants to the West. I turn it into furniture as a sign of hope." - Papa Mendy

More information about Making Migration Visible can be found here: MECA

Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks, and Pathways is a group exhibition on Im/migration in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and Colby College.

Papa Fara Beuthame MENDY, a master craftsman Senegalese designer and wood lover. After a rich experience in Senegal, he continues to travel the world to share his experience and creativity and show his work. Full of zeal for the defense of his craft, his many initiatives aim to enhance wood and demonstrate its various economic, cultural and social aspects. 

Raising his art to an activist level, he is committed to proposing a new life for the unemployed who seek solutions to their anguish beyond the seas. This is while some, fearless, risk their lives to embark on makeshift canoes to see their dreams of migration fail in the deep waters or in the streets and prisons of the so-called developed countries respectful of human freedom. To support his conviction that with faith in yourself and your creativity you can live with dignity, Fara invests all of his imagination in recycling these canoes and transforming the wood into works whose colors inspire faith in diversity and enrich people who dare to encounter it. These wonderful and entirely original creations are a product of his exceptional creative genius. They have been exposed to the European market since 2010.

Papa Fara Beuthame MENDY plans to conquer the national and international markets, including the US where many of his people have come freely or through forced migration. The perfect illustration of this ambition is the exhibition held at the National Theater Daniel Sorano from 30 May to 6 June 2013 on the theme of emigration. All national entities and international organizations came to admire its fabulous artwork and were offered moments of meditation on the dramatic aspects of migration which for centuries has contributed to the progress of peoples on all continents.