Aboubakar Fofana textiles trunk show
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Cancelled: Aboubakar Fofana Textiles Trunk Show

June 8, 2023

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We deeply regret that this trunk show has been canceled. We will be following up soon with ways to support Aboubakar’s work.

Born in Mali and raised in France, Aboubakar Fofana is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose working mediums include calligraphy, textiles and natural dyes. He is known for his work in reinvigorating and redefining West African indigo dyeing techniques, and much of his focus is devoted to the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional West African textile and natural dyeing techniques and materials.

Fofana’s work stems from a profound spiritual belief that nature is divine and that through respecting this divinity we can understand the immense and sacred universe. His raw materials come from the natural world, and his working practice revolves around the cycles of nature, the themes of birth, decay and change, and the impermanence of these materials. He sees the conception and realization of this work as a form of spiritual practice which is shared with his audience.

Fofana is currently deeply involved in creating a farm in conjunction with the local community in the district of Siby, Mali, in which the two types of indigenous West African indigo will be the centerpiece for a permaculture model based around local food, medicine and dye plants. This project hopes to contribute to the rebirth of fermented indigo dyeing in Mali and beyond, and represents his life’s greatest project to date.

“For me, the blue of indigo is symbolic of many things, many deeply spiritual connections within my homeland. But it is also deeply symbolic of what colonialism has done to my region and my people, and to lands and societies elsewhere. I can talk about blue as a colour, as a shade, as an idea, as a spiritual practice. I cannot ever separate my work from my spirituality, and I equally cannot separate it from my political struggle for African liberation, which is ever-present in all my work.” — Aboubakar Fofana, from Beyond the Blueness on Tatter

View a video from Botanical Colors’ Feedback Friday for a tour of Aboubakar’s Bamako studio, where you will see him harvest indigo, do some indigo dyeing, introduce his artisans, and see all the amazingness that is Aboubakar on his home turf.

Follow Aboubakar on Instagram @aboubakarfofana

Aboubakar Fofana, photo by Francois Goudier

Photo credits: Top, garment photos courtesy of Aboubakar Fofana, additional photos by Francois Goudier and Suki Zoe. Above, portrait of Aboubakar by Francois Goudier, photo of textiles from Aboubakar’s studio by Anna Brones.


June 8, 2023
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