After spending several months here, and waiting to continue this project because my video camera was stolen, I am changing the focus of my project. Though Craftspeople and artisans have important knowledge and skills, I am going to be working exclusively with fine artists when I get my camera (May 6). The life for fine artist here is challanging and inspiring, and true artists are rare in developing countries. In the meantime, there are a few special artisans that I have found and given peoples donations to. Unfortunatley, I dont have a camera, so some of them I have no good documentation for, but I will list them either way:
Kadidja and the pottery community of Mopti, Mali.
Yaya, a Bronze artisan in Bobo, Ouagadougo.
Vivian, a fine artist in Ouagadougo.
Further details on these artisans soon.
The project that I am currently working on is starting in Mali, and continuing throughout West Africa. I will be in West Africa From Dec 2010 to June (or later) 2011. I am interviewing artists, and using film to archive both the innovations of contemporary west african artists, and the knowledge of craft that is disappearing, as young people leave family traditions to move to cities. The interviews with artists have been sponsored by people from the US. If you would like to sponsor an interview with an artist, you can do so under the Support Page. If you leave an address, you will get a letter back from who ever received your sponsorship! Please follow along to learn about artists as I interview them.