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Lorenzo Perri


BREWING DEMOCRACY The Assembly of Le Balai Citoyen in Ouagadougou

Burkina Faso means “The Land of Free Man” in Moorè, but for the past 30 years the country has been under a strict military regime. Politicians formed a sterile opposition, and civilians had absolutely no role.

A democratic process has now begun and the activists of Le Balai Citoyen meet the Dolotières – women exclusively in charge of the dolo brewing ritual – to create a communal arena, where the production and consumption of beer supports political emancipation.

A space of accumulation growing from a marketplace, whose verticality is juxtaposed to the modernist tower of the BCEAO bank, a witness to the French influence over local economy. This assembly is a different bank, where grain, beer and political utopias are stored.

A compound of functional silos, whose absence carves out different public spaces – protected within an inhabitable cladding, a framework to create a fragile mass and a direct involvement between people and architecture.

A clash between contemporary sophisticated techniques and tribal animistic instances, essential to conceive and celebrate a raised political brewery – run by women – in such a context.


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