Room 03: ARTistic and ARTisanal

Wall: New Dreams: Imagining Gold Lives


New Dreams: Imagining Gold Lives. Paintings by artist Christophe Sawadogo.

“I am from the Centre Nord in Burkina Faso, where the desert is advancing, and where the climate and the seasons impact on our lives and on the movement of the population. My parents had to migrate to neighbouring Ivory Coast, “where the grass is greener”. I remained with my aunt. Like most of my classmates, I did a lot of kilometers every day. It resurfaces in my work and can explain the pieces of paper that I put on the roads in my neighborhood, on the mine trails. Likewise, terrorism affects parts of Burkina and thousands of people are leaving their areas of residence. I see it with my artistic means, with earth, my pencils, ink and carbon.”

“My aunt wanted me to become a medical doctor but at school in Ouagadougou, I already got interested in art and visited art gatherings and exhibitions. Women in my village heard of my art and I was summoned home. There was a ‘tribunal feminine’; the women interrogated: ‘We hear you are selling paper to white people, what are you doing?’  They worried whether I could make a living as an artist and whether prices for my work were decided in all honesty. With my aunt’s approval, I moved on into the world of art. My gallery is called ‘Maan Neere’. In Moore, my language, this means ‘to do beautiful/good’. Aesthetically appealing but also morally good – combining ‘le beau et le bien’ – it expresses why art matters: anything that is just is in itself beautiful and something that is beautiful should be just and help achieve justice.”

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