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Art and AFCON: Welcome to Abidjan

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In the pulsating heart of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the African Cup of Nations has not been the only source of excitement; it intertwines seamlessly with the inaugural Abidjan Art Week, creating a dynamic cultural unison that captivates football enthusiasts and art connoisseurs alike.

Guests at the inaugural Abidjan Art Week as well as Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Françoise Le Guennou-Remarck.

While the city of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, buzzes with the African Cup of Nations, it’s not the only event stirring excitement. The perfectly timed inaugural Abidjan Art Week also captured the attention of football lovers and art enthusiasts visiting the Ivory Coast.

It brought together more than 12 prominent members, including the Amani Gallery, Donwahi Foundation, Eureka Gallery, Cécile Fakhoury Gallery,  LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery, who joined forces to transform Abidjan into a cultural rendezvous, where the spheres of football and art converged in a harmonious dance.

The opening salvo of this cultural extravaganza, “Football Memories,” unfolded at the Rotonde des Arts, setting the stage for Abidjan Art Week. The strategically synchronized event with the African Football Cup of Nations saw around ten galleries organizing exhibitions, capitalizing on the influx of supporters and visitors to champion contemporary Ivorian art. In attendance was also the Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Françoise Le Guennou-Remarck.

Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Françoise Remarck

Yacouba Konaté, the visionary director of La Rotonde des Arts, emerged as a pioneer in bridging the realms of art and football. In his perspective, football stadiums are modern cathedrals that unite people around a shared passion, creating a unique atmosphere conducive to the birth of new emotions and experiences. Seeking to offer supporters an enriching artistic experience alongside football matches, Konaté emphasized the intrinsic value of contemporary Ivorian art during these sporting events.

“Abidjan Art Week” emerged as a unique opportunity to showcase the creative talents of the country. The diverse array of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and installations, sprawled across various galleries, providing visitors with an immersive experience that transcended the fervour of the African Cup of Nations.

Author

Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art News Africa.

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