Often called the “jewel of West Africa,” Ivory Coast has been a model of economic prosperity and political stability compared to its other African countries since its independence in 1960.
Indigenous graphic art traditions are found in abundance in the country, including wood sculpting, weaving, pottery and mask making.
The country recently held an exhibition under the theme: ‘Where are we headed to?’ to showcase the historical evolvement in Ivory Coast since independence.
They have cartoons that bring out humor to the viewers, but we do not forget what happened. It traces the history and all moments of crisis. There was blood.
Various cartoonists utilized the occasion to display arts about historical personalities, seasons and unforgettable moments in Ivory Coast.
“The experience so far is welcoming because they have displayed visuals that portray what exactly happened when we were under crisis. They have even captured how our hopes were restored, something that mesmerizes us all,” said Zariatou Konaté, education inspector.
“They have cartoons that bring out humor to the viewers, but we do not forget what happened. It traces the history and all moments of crisis. There was blood,” Eugénie Aya Yao, a student, told AFP.
According to the organizers, the participants were allowed to come up with any idea so long as it touched on the country’s history. They made explicable drawings that explained different political situation. Their drawings summarized many issues better than words.
“This is very excellent. It is good for us and to others who cannot read but can illustrate pictures and understand what happened on scenarios that they did not witness;” said Edson, one of the artists.
“I found out that the drawings and illustrations were very appropriate. Drawing gives us an opportunity to express ourselves. It presents us an opportunity to explain critical issues but at the same time bring humor,” Olvis Dabley, organizer of the exhibition told AFP.What had been perceived as less important many years ago is now considered a treasure to keep afresh Ivory Coast’s history. Many Ivorians are now embracing the creativity involved in drawing as a sign of patriotism.