The pictures were shot with my iphone, 3 weeks after the terrorrist attacks I chose to usemy iphone instead of my DSLR camera, to capture people discretely. they don’ t know that they are shot, so their artitudes are natural, as if i was doing a scan of the city.
It took me one month to embroider the pictures as i was sick with malaria and also “sick of all this nonsense”..
This series is a way to cope with my own sadness and a way to witness the (denied) traumatism of people living there.
Bassam was my refuge, the place i used to go to unwind and to be by myself at one hour drive from Abidjan. Bassam is also a place full of history, a quiet and peaceful little town. Bassam reminds me of insouciance, my wedding family lunch , all these childhood sunday afternoons i used to spend on this same beach with my loved ones. To me, Bassam was a synonym of happiness, until that day. 3 weeks after the attacks, the atmosphere of the little town changed.. The sadness is everywhere. A “saudade”, some kind of melancholy. Most of the pictures show people by themselves, walking in the streets or just standing, sitting alone, lost in their thoughts. And empty places.
“ça va aller” means “it will be ok” it is a typical expression used by ivorian people for everything, even if they know that it is not going to be ok. This work is a way to address the way ivorian people deal with psychological suffering. In côte d ‘ Ivoire, people don’t discuss their psychological issues, or feelings. A post-traumatic choc is considered as weakness or a mental disease. People don t talk about their feelings, and each conversation is quickly shortened by a resigned ” ça va aller”.
The attacks re-opened the mental wounds left by the post electoral war of 2011.
Each stitch was a way to recover, to lie down the emotions, the loneliness, and mixed feelings i felt.
Each picture is printed on a cotton canvas, 24 cmx24 cm, hand embroidered with DMC cotton thread.