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‘The sea doesn’t want this rubbish, so I give it and the ...


‘The sea doesn’t want this rubbish, so I give it and the environment life’

How an ecologically savvy Ivorian artist is making his name by turning discarded flip-flops into masterpieces

Loucoumane Coulibaly

As Ivorian artist Aristide Kouame combs the beach with a big rubbish bag to gather discarded flip-flops and other footwear, he is aware other beachgoers probably take him for a desperate street trader or madman.

Little do they know that Kouame, 26, transforms the flotsam into artworks valued at up to $1,000 (about R15,000) by cutting the rubber and plastic soles into pieces he assembles into large collages.

“This is the rubbish people have thrown into the sea and the sea brings it back to us because it doesn’t want it," he said on a beach in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital...

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