“I will be VIP!”: A visual tour of my fieldwork in Abidjan. Click on the photos for a larger view.

Signs in Abidjan play on themes of work, consumption, and Abidjan’s cosmopolitan self-image.

Images from the Sorbonne, where street-level political propagandists orated for former President Laurent Gbagbo.

Mobile street vendors, men who sell their wares in street traffic.

Some vendors worked their way up to having small, informal stalls.

In Abidjan themes of consumer culture are abundant.

Music and football are two predominant diversions for men on Abidjan’s periphery.

The members Frères de Zayon: MC, Busta, and Tino. I joined in the shoot at the University of Cocody campus for the album cover of our single, Je me bats pour mon avenir.




Here are some links to video clips of the men from my research. Apologies as narration and dialogue are in French.

This first is footage I took of mobile street vendors selling their wares in rush-hour traffic in Adjamé’s Boribana neighborhood.

Next is a clip, “Á la Sorbonne,” from Afrique Arte TV’s blog. It includes footage and interviews and gives a good feel of the space. Most of the discussion concerns neocolonial Franco-Ivoirian relations. The music of Tiken Jah Fakoly, a renowned Ivoirian reggae artist across Africa and in France, plays in the background.
And here is footage I took at a hip hop performance in Abobo. Tino and MC perform their single, “Babylon,” well known along the local circuit. Notice the heavy male-to-female ratio. Nearing the end, friends join the stage; at times, upward of a dozen men from other groups will flood the stage to sing and background dance. This time, apologies for the shaky/at-times sideways camerawork!