21 Sep Sankara: The Upright Man
Hosted by The Africa Centre (5th-14th October 2018) and designed by Pierre-Christophe Gam, “Sankara, The Upright Man” is a mix-media installation offering an apocryphal retelling of the life of Thomas Sankara, the late president of Burkina Faso.
Thomas Sankara was a military captain, a humanist, a pan-Africanist, an ecologist and a feminist who served as President of Burkina Faso from 1983, until his death in 1987, at 37 years old. A visionary and a charismatic figure, Thomas Sankara quickly became the leading African voice for the global fight against imperialism and neo-colonialism, as he launched one of the most ambitious programs for social and economic justice ever attempted on the African continent. His revolutionary programs for African self-reliance made him an icon throughout the continent but also the rest of the world.
Informed by interviews with family members, classmates, Ministers, and peers, the series is a thoroughly-researched and deeply intimate expression of Sankara as a torch-bearer of Africa’s destiny towards self-determination.
The installation is composed of 21 pieces — including 12 mix-media collages, 6 digitally-printed fabrics, one sculpture and one video installation. Gam employs a luxurious, architectural fusion of digital and material techniques ranging from pixel art to pencil colour drawing and photography, that collaborate to teleport us into a matrix of Sankara’s politic.
Deeper than a look into Thomas Sankara’s legacy, The Upright Man is a multi-layered archive of prophecy. Gam constructs Sankara not merely as a revolutionary, but as a prophet– a spiritual incarnation of purpose into flesh. Pierre-Christophe Gam resurrects Sankara’s legacy as a catalyst for social and political inquiry into Africa’s present reality, with eyes on the past and action towards the future.
“While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you can not kill ideas” – Thomas Sankara
Credit : Detail of “Ou La Mort”, 2017.