Recently launched at the 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, Omar Victor Diop latest work has been making rounds in the international art scene. His take on these series of self portraits is a unique exploration of his research into the history of migration of Africans, personality and love of football.

Identity and discovery–at both the collective and personal levels–are themes in the forefront of Omar Victor Diop’s Project Diaspora. A journey through time, the photographic series delves into and exposes less spoken narratives of the role of Africans out of Africa…. Using portraits of notable Africans in European history as his inspiration, Diop pits their life-journeys and legacies with those of his own, and further defining his intrigue of the singular destinies of travellers and those in alien environments.

– Raquel Wilson
Project Diaspora (Self Portraits, 2014)


Jean-Baptiste Belley (1746 – 1805) Jean-Baptiste Belley was a native of Senegal, born on the Island of Gorée and former slave from Saint-Domingue in the French West Indies who bought his freedom with his savings. During the period of the French Revolution, he became a member of the National Convention and the Council of Five Hundred of France. He was also known as Mars. Original painting by Girodet


Don Miguel de Castro (1643) In 1643 or 1644 Don Miguel de Castro and two servants arrived as part of a delegation sent by the ruler of Sonho, a province of Congo, via Brazil to The Netherlands. One objective of the journey was to find a resolution to an internal conflict in Congo. Original painting attributed to Jaspar Beck or Albert Eckout.


Dom Nicolau (Circa. 1830-1860) Dom Nicolau, prince of Kongo is perhaps the earliest African leader who wrote publicly to protest colonial influences. Nicolau, protested against Portuguese commercial and political activity and military expansion by publishing a letter in a Portuguese newspaper in Lisbon. His exact birth date remains uncertain. Contemporary engravings of Nicolas during his visit in Lisbon in 1845 suggest that he was then perhaps fifteen to twenty years of age.


Juan de Pareja (1606 – 1670) Juan de Pareja was a Spanish painter, born in Antequera, near Málaga, Spain. He is primarily known as a member of the household and workshop of painter Diego Velázquez. He later became Velazquez’s assistant sometime after the master returned to Madrid from his first trip to Italy in January 1631. Original Painting by Diego Velasquez.


Albert Badin, 2014.