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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The ABC's of Cloth and Politics in Cote d'Ivoire
Author:Bickford, K.
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Architecture and the Arts
Politics and Government
Abstract:In Côte d'Ivoire the designing, marketing, purchasing and wearing of factory textiles ('pagne') is one place where politics and symbolic communicative action blend. Frequently described as traditionally Ivorian, factory textiles such as those printed for the reigning PDCI (Parti démocratique de la Côte d'Ivoire) and the main opposition party, the FPI (Front populaire ivoirien), in the early 1990s, around the time of the presidential election, are a dynamic platform for public discourse in the country. Worn by women and men as daily dress, a message embedded within the design of a 'pagne' has the potential for reaching a wide audience. The author analyses the imagery of these commemorative textiles, showing that the PDCI employed well-known imagery with associations of durability, value, and a respect for the past, including an original Dutch wax design known as 'ABC'. In contrast, the FPI commemorative textile issued one year after the PDCI cloth, does not borrow from well-known wax textile imagery. It can be argued that in its unconventionality the design of the FPI cloth reflects a determination on the part of the FPI to separate itself from the PDCI and from the old guard in general. Notes, ref.