Hippolyte Sama - Burkina Faso

Musée National du Mali

Insurrection populaire au Burkina Faso (2014)

Hippolyte Sama’s photographs examine the events that unfolded from August to December 2014 and led to the resignation of Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaoré, after 27 years in power. In the series, the photographer presents the major acts that changed the political landscape of his native Burkina Faso. As a result, the work documents the start of the protests by opposition political parties in Burkina Faso after the modification of Article 37 of the constitution that deals with presidential term limits, and the failure of talks that had been initiated by the head of state himself. Sama endeavors to emphasize the role of women in this vital national movement and provides visual testimony to the major march held on October 28, 2014 that set off the mass uprising of October 30 and 31. Next came the consultations that resulted in the creation of the Charter of Transition. The series also documents the national homage to the martyrs and their burial.

The upheavals are treated in a clear chronological manner. The calm of the initial protests was followed by anger and violence, and finally tears. The images of peoples’ diverse emotions as they engage in the struggle reveal the impact of the events on the general sensibility. The colourful photographs are reminiscent of photojournalism and bear witness to the landmark moments of this episode that will remain forever engraved in the history of Burkina Faso and in the memories of a generation of people to which Sama belongs.

Born in 1980 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso –
Lives in Ouagadougou

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali