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Photo by Sophie Singletary

Hi Everyone!

My name is Magnus and I’m from Brooklyn, NYC. I’m the youngest in my family, with an older brother (he’s on the right, I’m on the left) and an older sister. We also have a golden retriever named Stu. And two cats, named Pepper and Spaz, though they are often forgotten because Stu is larger, newer, and cuter. I love my home and my family, but I’m so excited to be (away from them) spending the next year in Senegal!

In Senegal, I will look to continue with my passions, but through a new lens. In High School, I became really interested in figure drawing. I think as a result, much of the art I made and studied was heavily centered around Western Europe, as my figure drawing class was very much within the tradition of European academic drawing. In Senegal, I want to broaden my artistic horizons, thinking about different senses of aesthetics, different histories and traditions and contexts. I’d like to learn more about visual art as a whole, rather than visual art just from Europe.

There are many other things I love, which I’d like to continue loving (but maybe in a new way) in Senegal. Every day I took a longer route to school, walking rather than taking public transportation, so that I could have a good chunk of the day quietly listening to music (I tried to listen to an album a day). I currently don’t listen to music from Senegal, but I’m definitely going to when we get there! I also played on my school’s basketball and soccer teams. I’ve heard of friendly soccer on the beach in Dakar, and will absolutely be taking part in it. And I also love to cook—and more than that—to eat. This is, very possibly, what I’m most immediately excited about going to Senegal. I plan on eating well.

I also hope to have entirely new experiences in Senegal. I think this is what I’m most excited about as a whole for the year ahead—this opportunity to experience something completely different, unknown and maybe unknowable from where I currently stand. I want to get a feel for an entirely different culture, and entirely different landscape and way of life—even being around and talking with people in a different language than English I think will feel almost monumentally strange.

I’m so excited to meet everyone, and so excited to be in Senegal!!!