Spotlight: Inoussa Dao of the Centre Lukare

Tuesday, August 21 2012

Joe Lamport

In 2010, Inoussa Dao of the Centre Lukare won the first prize for creativity at the Salon International de l'Artisanat de Ouagadougou, the biennial handcrafts event - the largest of its kind in West Africa. Dao used his prize money to continue his design studies in France. He sat for an interview recently in Ouagadougou.

 

The name Lukare comes from my language, Peulh, and it means the grenier. That’s a structure in the village where people store the harvest. And you take the seeds from there to plant again in order to harvest again. So every family benefits.

We created Lukare in 2006. We were four. There were two designers, one sculptor and one painter. And each trains apprentices in his area. We are still here and today. We’ve trained 32 young people and they work with us now here.

An artisan is someone who knows how to work with his hands. There are many types, those who work with bronze, with cotton, weaving, ironworking – notably that is what I do, ironworking.

We try to link the contemporary and the traditional, which makes contemporary. We do design. We are inspired by the basic ideas and materials, what comes from tradition, and then the question is how to make it contemporary? We take wood and sculpt it lightly, mix it with steel to make something designed.

For us SIAO is a big event. We welcome it gladly every two years. It’s a big opportunity to sell our products. Buyers come to see us and they see the cultural diversity, that is, the side of the artisan, the creator in Burkina.

It’s become a huge international event and a lot of people come. It’s a big opportunity for us. It’s the time when we can do more sales, meet quite a few professional buyers, and mix with other artists in the area from other countries.

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