This discussion will explore the singularities and technicalities of Senegal’s rich heritage of savoir-faire—between Dakar, Saint-Louis, Thiès, and Casamance—in relation with contemporary creation.

Practical info

  • Free event

This discussion will take place in French.



la Galerie du 19M Paris/Aubervilliers


For more details, refer to the practical information.

From Thiès to Dakar, from east to west, textile savoir-faire forms a singular map of the Senegalese territory. By following these gestures and materials that have shaped them for centuries, this discussion will also provide the opportunity to discover contemporary practitioners who are redrawing the boundaries of the textile craft by thinking about the conditions of its contemporary production or the horizons of its future development. For these craftsmen and women and designers, the cultural and symbolic stakes of a thousand-year-old heritage are at stake, as well as the challenges raised by sustainable development and the transformations of a globalized market with multiple identities. From the cultivation of cotton to its weaving, from the tradition of indigo dyeing to its possible reinventions, this encounter between Aïssa Dionet and Emmanuelle Cadet will be both an introduction to Senegalese savoir-faire, past and present, and a reflection on its future.


With Aïssa Dione, Franco-Senegalese artist and weaver, and Emmanuelle Cadet, director of Alter Natives, an organization involved in research into the diversity of cultural heritage.


Moderated by Emilie Hammen, Director of the CHANEL and le19M Chair in Fashion Savoir-Faire at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM).



Aïssa Dione


Aïssa Dione is a Franco-Senegalese artist who studied, art, philosophy and English at the University of Dakar. A painter, designer, stylist, and gallery owner, she fully embodies the two cultures she combines in her work. She has modernized the once endangered pagne tissé— whose craft was jealously guarded by the weaving families of Casamance (Senegal)—and collaborates with leading decorators. In 1992, Dione founded her fabric company ADT (Aïssa Dione Tissus). She was named one of the twenty most influential women in Africa by Forbes Africa in 2015 and she is the initiator of the Institut des Métiers d’Art et du Design project in Dakar, Senegal, involving companies, the Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Integration in Senegal, to promote the Senegalese craft industries.


Emmanuelle Cadet


After studying art history and following 15 years of experience in the conservation and restoration of cultural property, Emmanuelle Cadet turned to the development of social uses of cultural heritage. She is the director of the Alter Natives organization and has been coordinating the Zone de Contact/Objets d’ailleurs programme and associated inclusive projects since its creation in 2010.

Alter Natives explores the social uses of cultural heritage. At the heart of its actions, young people who have little access to institutions appropriate historical content and investigate their heritage. Alter Natives accompanies them on a creative journey that reflects their discovery and questioning. By setting up a contact zone in which young people from different backgrounds can encounter museum professionals, academic experts, and resource persons, it challenges practices and develops new narratives on subjects that affect contemporary societies.

Emilie Hammen


Émilie Hammen has a PhD in art history (University Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne). She teaches the history and theory of fashion at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM), where she is also director of the CHANEL and le19M Chair in Fashion Savoir-Faire. Her research focuses on the historiography of fashion as well as on its relationship with art, particularly the avant-garde.