The wonders of African shop art.
I may be in a small group of weirdo aficionados of African shop art but I can’t get enough of it so here are a few more examples from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for my fellow weirdos.
This was certainly enough to convince me I had to buy a beer in this bar
The art form always has to catch up with new technology, though it has to be said that solar panels provide little inspiration for artistic expression.
As many people have no electricity supply in their homes there is plenty of business for phone chargers (right), who charge about 20c to power up your phone. Music is an integral part of life in West Africa and downloading (telecharger in French) makes a lot more sense than cd’s in the heat and dust but with few being able to afford fancy smart phones and data charges, which are still relatively expensive in Burkina Faso, a man in the market with a computer is the place to go to get your music and videos. Although downloads deny artists royalty payments, bootleg cd’s and tapes have always previously dominated the market and it is an effective way for up and coming artists to promote themselves.
Originally the art served to advertise to an almost entirely illiterate population and even today the literacy rate is only about 40% so it is still an effective means of getting your message across.
Food stalls still remain one of the most common places for traditional shop art.
Degue is the most common dessert in the region and certainly my favourite – sweetened yoghurt with grains of millet. Unfortunately the lady at this establishment was miserably uncommunicative so I was little inclined to go back.
Babes with beer and big butts, what more could you ask of a night club? The venue’s motto – live life to the max. Sounds good to me!