Collection: 'Lutteur' Collection

In my photographic portrait series, “Lutteur,” I sought to capture the passion and aspirations of the young men in the small village of Yene, Senegal, who gather daily on the beach to train and pursue their shared dream of becoming renowned lutteurs (wrestlers). This series is a testament to the immense popularity and cultural significance of wrestling in Senegal, while also exploring themes of hope, dreams, and the bonds of brotherhood that unite these young men.

Wrestling holds an unparalleled position in Senegalese society, where champions are revered and treated like movie stars. Inspired by this fervor, I immersed myself in the vibrant community of aspiring wrestlers, witnessing their fanatical dedication and the intense training sessions that punctuate their daily lives. Through my lens, I aimed to portray not only their physical strength and power but also the underlying spirit of camaraderie and resilience that fuels their pursuit of success.

The beach became a significant backdrop for this series, symbolizing a meeting point for dreams and aspirations. As the young men gathered there each afternoon, the sand and waves echoed with their determination and shared commitment to their craft. The setting serves as a metaphorical arena, representing the hopes and aspirations of these individuals, where they push their physical and mental limits while forging bonds of brotherhood that transcend their individual pursuits.

In capturing their portraits, I wanted to give agency to the subjects, allowing them to present themselves as they desired to be seen. Each individual posed in a manner that exuded strength, power, and masculinity—a reflection of their aspirations and the archetypal image of the wrestler. Through this approach, I aimed to honor their personal narratives and the pride they derive from their chosen path.

"Lutteur" seeks to shed light on the profound interconnectedness of these young men, illustrating the collective nature of their dreams and ambitions. Beyond the pursuit of individual success, their bond as brothers is a source of inspiration, support, and shared experiences. It is through their shared journey that they find solace, understanding, and the strength to persevere against the odds.

Through this series, I invite viewers to reflect on the universal themes of determination, camaraderie, and the pursuit of dreams. It is a celebration of the human spirit, resilience, and the transformative power of community. Ultimately, “Lutteur” is a visual ode to Senegalese wrestling, showcasing the beauty and complexity of this revered sport while highlighting the stories of hope, dreams, and unity that lie at its core.

Portraits from this series have found their way into numerous private art collections.