ANIMAL-rights activists vandalised an artist’s studio by smashing his windows and daubing paint on the walls.
The well-known Malian-born textile artist Adoukar Fofana was targeted by anonymous activists for using sheep in one of his shows.
They attacked his studio in the Greek capital Athens where his work, which includes sheep dyed indigo, was being exhibited.
It was the second time they targeted him after first disrupting a show in Athens in April which featured the live sheep.
“I’m not treating the sheep badly,” Fofana said.
“I’m not putting chemicals on them.
“It’s more like dyeing hair.
“In my culture, we use indigo and henna to dye hair black.” Fofana, who describes the attack as “very violent”, says he believes that the criticism is particularly misplaced as he was raised to believe that all living beings—including plants—are created equal.
“Every time we eat, the first thing we do is thank all the living beings who gave their lives to give us energy,” he said.
The anonymous group addressed Fofana in a blog post after the attack on 19 May, writing: “You choose to say nothing about the sheep’s confinement, nor the massive murders of the industry, and you added to the humiliation by using them as objects in the spectacle.”
Fofana’s piece, Ka touba Farafina yé (Africa blessing) (2017), features 54 sheep—one for each country in Africa—that have their wool dyed in different shades of indigo.
It deals with the “tragedy of migration”, Fofana says, using a sheep’s quest for new pastures as a symbol of humans risking their lives in search of a better one.
Indigo, which Fofana extracts himself using ancient West African techniques, features in many of his works.
He says that the dye is 100 per cent organic and non-toxic.