The Palais du Peuple (or simply the people’s palace) in Djibouti is a beautiful place. It is a palace for the culture and the arts industry and like all palaces of yore; it has numerous chambers that can be used for several activities, which can run simultaneously.
Djibouti touts herself as the capitale culturelle— the capital of culture at the horn of Africa and the palais du peuple is the nerve centre of the capital. Built in the 1980s by the Chinese for the republic of Djibouti, the palace is huge and can accommodate as many people as possible.
Recently, I visited the palace and boy, was I impressed. It is a nice piece of art but what really impressed me most was the art at the entrance to one of its amphitheatres that vividly described Djibouti and the Djiboutiens.
Painted in 1999 by Yaslam, a Somali artist, who was in living in Djibouti as a refugee, the fine works of art describe the history, culture and the entire urban and rural lifestyle of the Djiboutiens in a captivating way. He has an eye for detail and it is some of these images that I would like to share with you. And invite you to marvel at the artwork as well.