Talibes: Modern Day Slaves by Mario Cruz
Copyright 2016 FotoEvidence. All rights reserved.
Photographs: Copyright© 2016 Mario Cruz
Edit: Mario Cruz
Introduction: Copyright© 2016 Lauren Siebert, Human Rights Watch
The Evolution of the Talibé Tradition Copyright© 2016 Fatou Diouf
Arabic Translation: Afef Gardabbou
Portuguese and French Translation: Thomas Cabral
Text Editor: David Stuart
Design: Bonnie Briant
Mario Cruz gained rare access to the dark side of many Koranic schools in Senegal, known as daaras, and captured disturbing but stunning photographs of the lives of young boys subjected to slave-like conditions. The book Talibes Modern Day Slaves documents an alarming social condition for at least 50,000 young boys in Senegal aged between five and 15. The work provoked a nearly immediate response from the President of Senegal, who, in June, ordered the registration of all daaras (Islamic schools) in the country and ordered the police to intervene and assist boys found begging on the street. Just a first step but an indication of the power of the image, as the situations depicted are otherwise normal in Senegal, with Human Rights Watch estimating over 50,000 children begging out of daaras.
The book, Talibes Modern Day Slaves, contains 70 black and white photographs, an introduction from Lauren Siebert from Human Rights Watch and an essay by Fatou Diouf of We Are One Sn. The texts are in English, Arabic, Portugeese and French. It will provide local and international NGOs working on the issue enduring testimony and concrete evidence about the systematic exploitation of children in some daaras in Senegal and hopefully trigers a social change.
The work was recently awarded with the World Press Photo for Contemporary Issues and it was a finalist for the 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award.
Read an interview with Mario Cruz here.