cheryl Koralik

Photographer
    
Hommage to my husband, Alpha Touré
Location: Grand Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa
Nationality: American/Ivoirienne
Biography:    My career as a photographer began while studying at Columbia College in Chicago under the tutelage of Bob Thall, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen and Alan Cohen. These mentors helped me develop a particular affinity for portraiture and encouraged me to... read on
Public Story
Hommage to my husband, Alpha Touré
Hommage to my husband, Alpha Touré...

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.
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By cheryl Koralik —

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