Nomwindé Vivien Sawadogo - Burkina Faso

Musée National du Mali

Prendre son destin en main (2014)

Nomwindé Vivien Sawadogo has chosen to chronicle the burgeoning mass uprising that took place from August to September 2014 and signalled the beginning of the end of Blaise Campaoré’s 27-year reign as all-powerful president of Burkina Faso. The photographer decided to embed himself with a group of protesters. He followed the march to the square that eventually became the site of the revolution. His photographs capture the perspective of a citizen at the decisive moment when he chooses to join the march and participate in the movement. The title Sawadogo has given to his reportage, Prendre son destin en main (Take Your Destiny in Your Own Hands), expresses the artist’s personal implication while also addressing the totality of the movement that he has joined.

Sawadogo is able to transmit to us his sense of be- ing one with the people, of participating in a collective moment with those who are building the history of a population, of a nation. Depending on the angle of the photograph, he gives a heroic dimension to certain acts and certain postures. He photographs the youth of Burkino Faso in the heat of the action, preparing barricades of tyres that will soon be lit on fire.

A thick black smoke rises in the air. The crowd advances. Brooms are thrust in the air to signal to the political forces that it is time to sweep out the old regime. Arms are raised in unison and homemade protest signs boast slogans that spell out the desire for change.

Born in 1981 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso –
Lives in Ouagadougou

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