On May 7th, Alpha, my husband of 25 years, passed away. He was only 63, so it came as a shock to us all. My daughter, Aïssata and I were in New York City when we received the news. Three days later we found ourselves in Grand Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire, at his funeral, paying hommage to a man who played a very important role in our lives. And as I watched 25 years pass before my eyes, we laid him to rest.
Here in Bassam, Alpha has always been considered a local hero. A self-made man, with little formal education, and a massive personality, he created restaurants and hotels along the coast, that he named"Le Koral Beach" in my honor.
Since, my daughter, Aïssata and I have been trying to pick up the pieces and continue the businesses in his spirit, which still remains very strong. Never have I felt a spirit as strong as his. But that was Alpha. Filled with spirit. No wonder he is still here with us.
In the last few years, I have personally experienced a tremendous amount of death; losing my mother, my older brother, several very dear friends and now my husband. Consciously and unconsciously, I have found that expressing myself through my work, my passion, my photography has seen me through each loss. Death is a part of life. And life is creativity.
These images were all taken on my journey of finding peace during a time of loss. Meanwhile, creating a new life. And all of these people and places have been a part of this sojourn. Saluting a man, and the spirit of a man.
Repose en paix, Alpha Touré. Rest in peace. You will forever be with us.