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Gallery: Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque In Upper Volta

December 2016

Sory Sanlé: self-portrait

Echo Del Africa National

Idrissa Kone and his instruments

Les Imbattables Leopards

Tidiani Coulibaly (third left) and Dafra Star

Tidiani Coulibaly

Tidiani at the mic

Volta Jazz

Volta Jazz

Volta Jazz

Two dancers (names unknown)

Unknown reveller

Check out a selection of photos found in the monograph accompanying a new boxset documenting the pop culture explosion of West Africa's Upper Volta in the 1970s

The landlocked former colony French Upper Volta in West Africa attained independence in 1960. It was named Burkina Faso in 1984 after the National Council for the Revolution took power following a military coup d'état led by Thomas Sankara.

However Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque In Upper Volta documents the city of Bobo-Dioulasso's pop revolution following its independence in 1960. The three disc boxset features the groups Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa and Les Imbattables Léopards. The collection comes with a book featuring over 100 photographs from photographer Sory Sanlé, as well as interviews and sleevenotes.

“Each weekend, life was beautiful,” recalls Sanlé. “Every Saturday night, everyone was excited to go see his or her dance partner. People would dance, take a break, get their picture taken, and go back to dancing. It’s an atmosphere that isn’t expensive and life isn’t complicated. Automatically there was a photographer, because you had to have memories of it, and I was there as the photographer.”

Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque In Upper Volta is released by Numero.

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