belonging is a messy affair. there is no clear welcome mat
Feb. 2, 2022

🎹  it is not with bones and skin, it’s all with feeling — with Axel [Part I]

🎹  it is not with bones and skin, it’s all with feeling — with Axel [Part I]

Who are you to yourself, when no one is around?
Axel Kacoutié is not afraid to explore uncomfortable territory. We tread, not so lightly, on topics around their cultural identity, from Ivorian roots to British citizenship. We also explore questions around Axel’s racial identity, and how the Berlin Conference from 1884, where Africa was neatly divided amongst European colonizers, still affects people today.

Axel questions and makes sense of identity through expression, through art, and through writing. A few works mentioned in the episode were:


Episode Mentions:

  • Ethnicities — Bété people; Anyi (Akan) people
  • Fufu or Foutou — a mashed blend of plantains, cassava or yams. It is a staple dish for Akan people of Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and other parts of West Africa.
  • Djembe or Jembe drums — rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa 
    • the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose
  • Zaouli Dance — a traditional dance of the Guro people of central Ivory Coast
  • Chansonnier — an insightful singer, poet, songwriter that helps the community heal from old wounds
  • The Body Keeps the Score — Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

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More about: Axel Kacoutié
Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter
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Curious about the in-betweenish pod
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The in-betweenish pod is produced by Beatriz Nour
Music is composed and produced by Malik Elmessiry

Axel Kacoutié Profile Photo

Axel Kacoutié

Axel Kacoutié is a creator who's been crafting sound, music, and words to challenge the familiar and revive a magic in the mundane. They are also the Creative Director of Sound for Guardian Podcasts and the sound designer and theme composer for its flagship daily news podcast, Today in Focus.