“Back there, everything was extreme, life was incredibly hard. You were never just cold, but dying of cold. You were never hungry, but starving (...). I dreamt about song lyrics and in the morning, I wrote them down as if they'd been dictated to me.” Yacouba Konaté was studying engineering when the rebels entered Daola (Ivory Coast). Forced to flee, the young man found in singing the strength to survive the inhumanity of his situation. “What I learnt in prison is that the more you give others, the more likely you are to make it out alive. It's no longer a question of physical strength, but of mental resilience and patience. Patience in hope.” A terrible and eye-opening initiatory journey which he managed to tell through the body of young Yacou. Accompanied by Wally Saho on percussions, Young Yacou is a brutal exploration of contemporary crises, a time of truth during which two men come onstage, surrounded by children and adults, to share and transmit their stories, and to heal. “Young Yacou speaks for me. That's what I call my 'natural destiny' (...). There are things I couldn't say before, and which are coming out now, at the same time as my tears. Sometimes the children cry with me, sometimes we dance, sometimes we laugh.”
Born in Ivory Coast, Yacouba Konaté had to flee his country and experienced cruelty, camps, and slavery... After years in exile, he arrived in France, and he says that it is in singing that he found the strength to always get back up and keep going. Here, he performed the music for Djibril Diallo and Sophie Bachelier's film Choucha (in which he also appears), and was welcome by the Agency of artists in exile (a unique French structure which supports exiled artists and provides them with a place where they can work). This protective space gave him the opportunity to write and sing about his journey and to perform live. In 2017, he founded the band Wary, alongside others like Wally Saho.
With Yacouba Konaté, Wally Saho
Text Yacouba Konaté Music Yacouba Konaté, Wally Saho
Production atelier des artistes en exil Co-hosting Festival d'Avignon, Là ! C'est de la Musique In partnership with France Médias Monde