Diakaridia Traoré (1992) is a self-taught artist. He began his artistic career at the Anw-ko’Art center in Bamako. Later he became a member of the Badialan 1 Collective where he shared a workshop with several artists. Traoré paints indefinable and intimate spaces. A wall, a corridor, a window. Often, the spaces are empty, silence reigns. His compositions are sometimes confusing. As spectators we don’t know if we are inside or outside the space?
These works are often reminiscent of a bar where solitude reigns. A glass of wine on a table suggests that there have been guests. But is this really the case?
Traoré examines his surroundings. The traditional environment where he grew up and where spirituality and animism are the common thread of daily life. He studies modern society in Bamako with bars and temptations, which is so different from village life.
Alcohol consumption plays an important role in his work. And especially the significance of alcohol in the animism that prevails in traditional villages in relation to the prohibition of alcohol in Islam.
‘In today’s Malian society, you want to be a pious Muslim and alcohol is not one of them. We must obey God, but who is God? People forget that we are traditionally animists, where alcohol is important in ceremonies and rituals. For me, there are often two realities in a person: the animist reality and the Muslim reality. It is as if a thin layer of Islam has descended on us animists. For me, alcohol is also positive, it is used when big decisions are made, both by the president and during ceremonies in the villages. ‘