I remember Mbour, Quartier Escale, my childhood home. The checkered staircase led to a corridor flanked by walls featuring Scrooge McDuck and other old-school Disney characters (or my grandfather’s best attempts at painting them). The outdoor cinema to the right, which he passionately managed and which mostly showed Hindi movies and Westerns. The bakery on the ground floor and the smell of warm brioche wafting up and into the house from the balcony. The bakery was once a grocery store where I spent many days as a toddler, greeting my grandmother’s customers from the countertop, while my parents attended school in a different town. Movie posters, plastered ads for sweet condensed milk, branded sacs of flour and onions and potatoes, cases of soda and beer in glass bottles, camembert and brie wrapped in glossy paper, jars of pickled olives and chilli and carrots – a wonderland of bright colours and rich scents. My uncle manned a bar around the corner which played Congolese Rumba, Cape Verdean Zouk, and French pop music until the early hours of the day. I was never allowed to go in, but its muffled sounds are etched on my mind. When I work, I conjure this place, this time, when I was free and loved. It’s what allows me to be guided by curiosity and play. Fragments of Quartier Escale find their way into everything I do creatively.