El Marto at Ouagadougou

Happy Stories
April 19, 2021// Reading time : 8 mn
Vietnamese street artists with Dominique Mourey, DRIP'IN's founder
The artist El Marto working on his mural at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – Photo Rasca Production – Martin Demay
El Marto, street French-burkinabese artist living in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, tells us here his Happy Story of the conversion of one of his murals into another one following some neighbourhood controversies.
A mural in tribute to “living together”
El Marto has been colouring the walls of Burkina Faso for many years. Depicting everyday scenes and advocating the coming together of peoples, El Marto marks his commitment through his murals.

In 2018, he created a scene on a wall showing different people of different nationalities pounding together. This painting, entitled ‘Tous au pilon’, is an ode to multiculturalism and living together.

With this painting, the artist El Marto invites the people of Burkina Faso as well as those of the whole world to work collectively for the sake of all.

The four characters symbolize the diversity of peoples and cultures, such as the Tuareg represented in his traditional outfit with turban.

[From left to right] El Marto painting his original mural, El Marto covers his work to recreate it – Photograph by Martin Demay – Rasca Production.
When street art makes people react
As time went by, the owner of the wall, a friend of the artist, asked him about the growing number of complaints from the neighbourhood. Indeed, the people of the neighbourhood were protesting against what they thought was the representation of “a jihadist” within the characters pounding together.

Despite all the exchanges and discussions to explain the authenticity of his approach, El Marto faces this unwanted amalgam. Not wanting to create more controversy, El Marto prefers to comply with his friend’s request to cover the wall.

Rare experience of reworking
As El Marto points out, it is not often that a play is reworked. Especially when it was not intended to divide but to unite.

In fact, for this conversion, El Marto did not simply want to cover up his old work. As a committed artist, he sought to convey another message, to give meaning to this new mural.

This was done in March 2020, with a mural entitled “Crie baby crie”.

Through this work, the artist wished to show that all voices count, especially those of women in such a masculine world.

Mural at Burkina Faso by street artist El Marto
El Marto and his new artwork – Photography by Martin Demay – Rasca Production.
DRIP’IN is committed to the “happiest” stories.”
DRIP’IN is committed to publishing the “Happy Story” of each artist, the 3 most positive stories being determined by their number of favourites.

The winner will receive a free steel lithograph free of charge of his work, and the 2 following winners will receive a free museum-quality giclée print of their work.

 

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