Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the universal Plight of Artists

I pass my days with a bunch of young artists.  Their stories are another take on the plight of artists world wide, that of the 'suffering' artist.  Most families here don't support the choice to become an artist.  Certain last names such as Koyate and Djebate in Guinea lend themselves to becoming artists (like a caste system), but others like Keita or Djallo do not.  Parents want their kids to become doctors and politicians and have a 'good job' in the capitol and be able to save/send money for the family --  But an artist?! The collective scorn isn't good for the future development of the arts.  Many students that I've talked to at the Beaux Arts University tell of breaking away from their family and making their own decision - something very bold in a country where tradition tells people to listen first and foremost to family.  (The state pays for University once a student is admitted). 
      On the flip side, I see these students as the creative future for Guinea.  The left-brain thinkers, the unafraid, the leaders, the ones that think outside-the-box (much needed in a country that does little to help its people -- so better find ways to do it yourself).  A little confrontation is good for everyone in life; but, also so is a good mentor and positive helping hand.  The country doesn't offer much support to aspiring artists (musicians, painters, dancers, actors) - but I'm sure they would  if they realized here lies the country's riches.  Guinea has been mined and abused by foreign extractors and here's the chance for the country to make a positive turn-around.  Arts never expire.  Likewise, the true artists is always growing and changing and evolving with the times in a sort of symbiotic relationship:  people develop art, art develops people.  When we see life as art, solutions come.  So , now what ?   

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