“In 1982 the National Endowment for the Arts established the NEA National Heritage Awards as a way of honoring American folk artists for their contributions to our national cultural mosaic….
“At the age of 14, Sidiki Conde lost the use of his legs as the result of polio. In his village in Guinea, West Africa, disabled people commonly were banished from their homes in order not to bring shame or bad luck upon their family, so he was sent to his grandfather’s village deep in the forest.
“Knowing that he would not be able to participate in the coming-of-age ceremony if he could not dance, Sidiki reconstructed the traditional steps using his hands instead of his feet. He became so adept that he was able to travel to the capital city, Conakry, and form Message de Espair, an orchestra of artists with disabilities he recruited from the city’s streets….”
Continued on the National Heritage Awards site.
Article publié pour la première fois le 25/08/2007