Vie & Solidarité
Porto-Novo, Benin · Visual Arts
Louis Oke-Agbo’s initiative Vie et Solidarité Art Therapy Center, is an NGO that facilitates the social rehabilitation and professional integration of mentally, physically and visually impaired people, in Porto-Novo, Benin.
Louis Oke-Agbo has demonstrated a strong commitment to making a positive impact on society. His initiative, ‘Vie & Solidarité’, was founded in 2015, aiming to empower individuals with disabilities to freely express themselves through artistic mediation. It offers them a creative outlet for self-expression and personal development.
One of the central objectives of ‘Vie et Solidarité’ is to raise awareness within medical, social, and cultural communities about the therapeutic benefits of artistic mediation. Through visual art, this initiative provides those with learning disabilities a creative outlet that allows them to reclaim their potential and reintegrate into society. By doing so, ‘Vie et Solidarité’ combats exclusion based on differences and celebrates the unique talents and capabilities of individuals who have often been marginalized. Louis Oke-Agbo’s dedication to this cause highlights the transformative role of art in promoting inclusion, self-expression, and integration for people with disabilities.
Beninese visual artist Louis Oke-Agbo (Aguégué, 1980) pursued a training program in photography and video in Porto-Novo, Benin, from 1996 to 1998. He obtained his video editing diploma in 2000 and later specialized in Fine Art Photography, earning the National Photography Prize in Benin in 2010.
His practice pioneers a hybrid form of creative expression that evokes the rich historical traditions of his native country. Masterfully blurring the boundaries between painting and art photography, his images are formed by a process of superimposition and apposition of various textural elements. His images confront the viewer with notions of history, race, culture, gender, identity, psychology and social inequality while addressing a highly sensitive subject that affects not only African societies, but humanity as a whole.
Besides his artistic practice, in 2013, he established a workshop for social reintegration and artistic expression for people with disabilities at the Jacquot Public Psychiatric Center in Benin. The same year, he published the book entitled ‘Vulnerable Layers’ with Ifolor. He also underwent training and conducted research on mental health in Belgium and France in 2014.