Fréderic Bruly Bouabré The Universalist

Although this video isn’t a video poem, I thought there were elements in it that might inspire the rest of us to create. The cultural messages are also very interesting. I admire him for following his vision.


  1. Reply
    Dave 13 June, 2010

    Thanks for sharing this. There are so many things to love: the similarity of his work to poetry postcards and haiga; the similarity of his vision experience to a traditional West African shamanic crisis (but instead of a shaman he became an artist); his gathering of “knowledge of the world” through trash found on the street; “art by chance” and his seemingly interchangeable use of “chance” and “divinity”; the statement that anyone can be an artist if he divests himself of shame; and his informal school.

    • Reply
      christine 13 June, 2010

      I thought about the poetry postcards too. I just read _Black Elk Speaks_ – it’s interesting that when Black Elk shared his visions with the elder shamans they helped him create dances, paintings, and songs from what he saw. They said the medicine wouldn’t help the people unless he made the visions concrete (my words). I thought about that when I watched this video.

      • Reply
        Dave 14 June, 2010

        The problem with Black Elk Speaks is we really have no way of telling how much is Black Elk and how much is John G. Neihardt. Bruly is much more in control of his own message — and obviously the film medium gives the audience more direct access to him. But yeah, art and healing are intertwined in many traditional cultures. Among the O’odham (Pima and Papago) people, for example, the same songs that were used in all-night healing ceremonies could also be used in secular, all-night circle dances.

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