01 Sep Boubou Business
This is the story about East Germany and West Africa and something that weaves them together. Photographer Chantal Seitz captures the unusual connection between a fabric production in the small town of Aue in the northern foothills of the Erzgebirge and traditional, festive African Boubous. The shimmering Damast from Europe is the preferred fabric for the robes worn by men for special occasions or the Friday prayer at the mosque. Boubous – a throw with wide, body-length sleeves, and loose trousers – are a status symbol. They are inherited from generation to generation. Families often get into debt to have this garment charged with symbolism made. The shinier the fabric, the finer its pattern, the more important the wearer. Seitz photographically contrasts the two worlds that could not be otherwise. On the one hand the German production halls, where remnants of the valuable fabric are used to cover lunch or computer screens, on the other hand venerably dressed believers from Senegal. In between the pages real pieces of Damast connect the two realities.