Djenné is where my journey as an artist began. It is a city rooted in authenticity.
I first came across the Great Mosque of Djenné while doing online research for a class project for art school. I was awestruck. Its majestic nature, ingenuity and craftsmanship all enthralled me and I knew I had to make the journey there in person.
Located in central Mali, Djenné is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under 'Old Towns of Djenné.' During my visit, I witnessed the grandeur of the mosque, admired the monumental homes with decorative facades, and visited the tombs of the saints. These experiences stirred up so many emotions within me. I was compelled to tell the stories.
I questioned to myself,
What are the stories that we have not heard that need to be told?
This is why I founded Zainab Sumu Primitive Modern.