Bët-bi is a new museum and center for culture and community in Senegal being developed by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Le Korsa.
Mariam Kamara and her team are designing a beautiful and uplifting building complex with exhibition space, places for community gatherings, a library, a café, and an area for local artisans to showcase and sell their work.
Bët-bi - which means "the eye" in Wolof - will be constructed on a site in the Senegambia region of West Africa with its ancient stone megaliths that include four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Bët-bi's core goal is to bring the joys of visual art to a population that may not previously have had access to museums, as well as to an international audience, and to bring human beings together through art. It will be situated in a region where ancient stone megaliths, hitherto mostly unknown to the public, give evidence of the rich artistic traditions of the region. It will present traditional and contemporary African art, art from the Diaspora (including examples of work from the Harlem Renaissance), and work from a myriad of other cultures that demonstrates the universality and timelessness of various visual motifs,
whether in the work of both Anni and Josef Albers, African textiles, American quilts, Mesoamerican objects, or Native American beadwork. It will help revitalize the economy of the region, providing the benefits well demonstrated from other new cultural institutions in locations with minimal previous tourism. It will be built with respect for local traditions and a keen awareness of environmental impact, at relatively low cost, demonstrating the Alberses' maxim of “Minimal means for maximum effect.”
Bët-bi has been building an international advisory board representing a wide range of expertise and professional backgrounds, including in contemporary and historic African art, Senegalese development and civil society, regional and community make-up, and governance.