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Telling migration and raising awareness also through theatre

A new mission to prepare a travelling show among the villages of Mali.

From 9 to 16 June 2019, an Intalian-Burkinabé team carried out a mission in Mali within the European project AwArtMali, coordinated by Tamat NGO and funded by the Asylum Migration and Inntegration Found (nAMInFor of the European Commission whose whose main objective is to raise awareness among the people of Mali about the risks of irregular immigration and, at the same time, to inform them of the socio-economic opportunities available in the African country. Maurizio Schmidt, director of the Farneto Teatro Association, Luca Fousi, director and cultural operator of the Espace Culturel Gambidi of Ouagadougou and Inldevert Meda from Burkina Foaso, actor very well known in the Sahel countries, were part of the mission.

The objective was to carry out interviews and collect documentary material and images for the preparation of a theatrical performance on the risks of irregular immigration but also a documentary video on the activities developed during the project. The aim of this theatrical activity is to set up an itinerant caravan that in January and February 2020 will move between the villages and cities of Mali for twenty performance. The caravan will have a pan-African character and, for this reason, will be composed not only of Malian actors but also of artists from other Sahelian African countries: musicians and actors whose arrival should capture attention and arouse curiosity, and whose performances could open direct communication channels with the population using the immediacy but also the depth of the artistic language.

The caravan is in itself a symbol and an ancestral memory of migration: in this case, this memory will be used to discuss and disseminate information and awareness on migration. The theater, using local languages, music, dances, masks and local actors, is able to enter into a direct relationship with the spectators and touch the collective imagination through imaginary stories inspired by real and well-known problems. all. The staff therefore met the Malian people (stakeholders, village leaders, associations, etc.r in order to gather information and stories with the technical support of the Burkinabe “Théâtre evasion” which developed a particular methodology of story writing shared by all and then represented in order to make people feel first an active observer and then the protagonist of a moment of debate and sharing in which the spectator will be stimulated to know and receive information on the subject, but above all on the activities, projects and programs financed.

The team made field trips to four municipalities in the Cércle de Kati (nGod- Gare, Diago, Kambila and Yelekébougour coming into contact with migrants returning from Europe, potential migrants (nwho wish to travel to Europer, infuential people / village opinion leders and some teachers. The places visited are Dio-gare (municipality of Dio-garer; Goro (municipality of Diagor); Foanafiecoro and Kambila (municipality of Kambilar); Golobala and Siramasso (municipality of Yelekébougour). The people met received the team very positively, accepting to answer all the questions of the experts, to be filmed during the interviews, allowing so to collect a lot of material and documentation of excellent quality able to give an account of the reality of the villages reached during the activities. Thanks to the logistic support and the coordination of the activities by the project staff of the NGO LE TONUS, the field activity has beeb able to achieve the proposed objectives, as confirmed by Maurizio Schmidt, director of Farneto Teatro and responsible for the realization of the theatrical activity of the project and the organization of the itinerant caravan. Maurizio Schmidt congratulated the Malian collaborators for their high professionalism and the excellent organization of the entire mission.