Baye Fall at Dnindy, Touba, 2014_hero.jpg

Past Exhibitions

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn: Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - Sunday, July 15, 2018

Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance is a stunning photographic series by award-winning New York-based documentary photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn.

The exhibition highlights the culture and people of the Baye Fall, Senegal’s Sufi Muslim order also known as the Mourides. With their distinctive appearances, the Baye Fall have strongly infiltrated Senegalese culture: their patchwork attires, "locked" or dreaded hair accompanied by prayer beads, talismans and rhythmic drumming and mesmerizing chanting are now commonly seen across Senegal.

Accounting for almost 40% of the country's population, the Mourides have grown rapidly since the Baye Fall founder and leader, Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, established the order in 1883 along with his most distinguished adherent, Ibrahima Fall, for which the suborder was named.

This series provides a colorful peek into the lives and culture of the Baye Fall, along with a more in-depth look that reveals how, with time, the political, social and economic philosophies of the Baye Fall have been heavily influenced by indigenous philosophy as well as pre- and post-colonization by the French.

Barrayn’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, OkayAfrica, Vogue, PDN, CBS, and Quartz Africa, among other publications. She has curated exhibitions at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, and galleries and non-traditional spaces. She has given talks on her photography at Yale University, The International Center of Photography, New York University, Howard University, and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Her work also has been published in the Smithsonian-produced anthology, "BLACK: A Celebration of a Culture,” and she is the author of the recently released, “MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.”

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn: Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance is on view March 28 - July 15, 2018, in the Media Lab. The exhibition is sponsored by The Secular Society.

Meet the artist during a special exhibition opening and artist talk on Friday, April 6! Click here to learn more and to register. 

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Images left to right:

Ala Dindy, Touba, 2014, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Les Femmes, Magal, Prokhane, 2015, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

C'est Cool at Thies, Senegal, 2014, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Baye Fall at Almadies, Dakar, 2014, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Muhammad sur l'Avenue Ponty, 2015, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Baye Fall, Greeting, Dnindy, Touba, 2014, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Grand Mosque of Touba, Senegal, 2013, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Sonhkna Khady Ba, 2014, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist

Baye Fall at Dnindy, Touba, 2014, Digital c-print, Courtesy of the Artist