22 June 2016
Architectural Association, London
Burkina Faso means “The Land of Free Man” in Moorè, but for the past 30 years the country has been under a strict military regime. Politicians formed a sterile opposition, and civilians had absolutely no role.
A democratic process has now begun and the activists of Le Balai Citoyen meet the Dolotières – women exclusively in charge of the dolo brewing ritual – to create a communal arena, where the production and consumption of beer supports political emancipation.
A space of accumulation growing from a marketplace, whose verticality is juxtaposed to the modernist tower of the BCEAO bank, a witness to the French influence over local economy. This assembly is a different bank, where grain, beer and political utopias are stored.
A compound of functional silos, whose absence carves out different public spaces – protected within an inhabitable cladding, a framework to create a fragile mass and a direct involvement between people and architecture.
A clash between contemporary sophisticated techniques and tribal animistic instances, essential to conceive and celebrate a raised political brewery – run by women – in such a context.
Painful and amazing- the AA has been a house to reconnect my world and obsessions with the public. If architecture is a deal between personality, imagination and reality, you helped me shape them all.
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