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Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: Ivory Coast is paying tribute to the author of Bété alphabet

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Even in his resting place, the painter and poet of Ivory Coast Frédéric Bruly Bouabré is drawing attention. The author of Bété alphabet died on 28th February 2014 at Yopougon (Abdijan) will be honored by his peers on 24th April 2014 at the museum of Civilizations of Ivory Coast. A preview of the exhibition « Life and Works of Bruly Bouabré » the artist is scheduled for the event. Works of the artists, his photo albums, his correspondences with African heads of State will also be displayed until 2nd May.

Former serviceman in the navy during the Second World War, Bruly Bouabré got back to native Ivory Coast after the war where he occupied the of book-keeper for the railroad line Dakar-Niger. On 11th March 1948, he got a surprising vision and put an end to his function.

« The sky opened before my eyes and 7 colored suns drew a beauty circle around their Mother-sun, I became Sheik Nadro: the one who does not forget », he explained. Creating a new writing characteristic to Africa was the new mission of the man. He drew back narratives with drawings and signs peculiar to him. His syllabary rich of 448 signs is called « Bété alphabet » of the name of his ethnic group of origin.

In 1958, the famous unknown man was revealed to the world thanks to the writing of the anthropologist Théodore Monod, author of the study “Un nouvel alphabet ouest-africain : le bété (Côte d’Ivoire)” (A new West African alphabet”: The Bété (Ivory Coast)), published in the News bulletin of French Institute of Black Africa (IFAN).

Since 1989, the works of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré have been making tour of the world (Berlin, Frankfurt, Biennial events of Venice, Sydney, São-Paulo, Paris, Dakar, Documenta XI of Kassel, Moscow or London).

On 8th May, the works of Ivory Coast artist will be displayed at the exhibition « Ici l’Afrique » at the Museum of the Swiss beside those of about twenty other African artists.


Original text by: Roger ADZAFO

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