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Issa Nyaphaga was born in Douala, Cameroon (central Africa) in 1967 and grew up in the small Tikar village of Nditam, in the heart of Cameroon's equatorial forest. As a child of the fields, Issa was in contact with the earth and nature through artistic practice.
"As a young artist, it wasn't enough to be what I was. I needed to do more, getting involved in something significant and crazy," Issa has said.
After High School, Issa worked as a political cartoonist and reporter at a weekly satirical newspaper, Le Messager Popoli. His opposition to the political regime in Cameroon, led to his being imprisoned several times in 1994 for his publications.
Issa divides his time between Paris and the United States, where he shares his work and advice with students and young artists. Issa has also been working on the development of a philosophical concept called the "Urban Way," in which he paints his body and stages live performances that include live music. It is an act of protest against not being able to return home freely.
Most recently, Issa has been developing a community radio and health education project called Radio Taboo in his hometown, which will launch in the Summer of 2013.
For more info, visit www.nyaphaga.com.