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Photographer's Note

This guy comes from Mali, one of the poorest countries of the world: the Human Developpement Index (a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide) place Mali at the bottom of the list (175/177).
Now he's living in Pointe Noire (Congo) selling batik and bogolan to foreign businessmen in Pointe Noire, the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo, and a district in the Kouilou province. It is the main commercial centre of the country and has a population of 663,400.
Batik is both an art and a craft, which is becoming more popular and well known in the west as a wonderfully creative medium. To make a batik, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs. After the final dyeing the wax is removed and the cloth is ready for wearing or showing.
Bogolan, or bogolanfini, is a Malian textile that has grown and evolved from its traditional base in the Bamana and other Malian cultural groups to play a significant part in the artisan culture of Mali. It also influences textile design internationally and acts as a representation of African cultural identity and symbolism.
Hard life? Maybe... but look at his smile!

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Additional Photos by Alberto Piubello (albertopiubello) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 331 W: 41 N: 881] (2623)
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