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“Tunka l’aventure” arrives in Yelekebougou to celebrate the success of an exciting journey

The tour of the theater caravan among the rural communities of Mali ends with a moment of great celebration

After the performances (from the 29th of January to the 20th of February) in N’Golovala, Fanafiè Coro, Kambila Village, Siramanso, Fansira – Coro, Guily, Soninkegny, M’Piebougou, Goro, Dio – Gare, Sotoli, Diago Village (other than Bamako and Kati), on the 21st of February in the public square of Yelekebougou with a big and crowded party, the tour among the Malian rural villages of “tunka, l’aventure” ended.

The theatrical performance was in fact preceded by two exciting artistic moments: the music group acrobatic dances and the traditional dances of the community of Fanafié Choir and the exhibition of the rap group Kira Kono, who wanted to perform a song based on the communication and awareness campaign of the AwArtMali project on the migration theme and with a video clip in preparation filmed together with the students of Mamby High School and other testimonials of Kati.

The communication campaign was developed within the AwArtMali project, coordinated by Tamat NGO, co-financed by the Asylum, migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Commission, in partnership with Fondazione ISMU, Giusti Eventi, CONGENIA, Instrategies, Cardet and farneto Teatro.

During the festival, there were speeches by Amadou Sidibé, head of the Malian NGO Le tonus, which provided support to all the project activities in Mali, and the mayor of Yelekebougou, a dynamic municipality in which there are many of the villages involved in the tour, which share economic and social problems and withstands the project in all its stages, hosting meetings, facilitating the organization of focus groups and interviews. For this reason, the show was awaited and in fact, thanks to the market day, the participation was above all expectations with about 700 people who were able to attend the performance of the theatre company. Among the participants there were women and men of all ages and many children, including the mayor of Diogare, representatives of the municipalities of Kambila, Kati and Diago, the village elders, many returning migrants and witnesses interviewed.
The show, produced by Farneto Teatro with the Centre Gambidi of Ouagadougou, was created starting from the interviews that Maurizio Schmidt has made with migrants, returning migrants and families in Italy, Spain and in the villages of Mali reached by the tour.

For all of them it was important to recognize their own stories and to renew in public their testimony: the departure causes (first of all the economic difficulties of the agricultural villages of the area), the risks of the journey, the difficulties encountered in a foreign country, the expulsion, but also the return back home (the sense of failure, refusal, problems of reintegration).

For the public –as men and women have pointed out in the debate, which constitutes a second-stage fundamental in the “awareness raising theatre” – it was important to be informed and emotionally involved through the theatre and at the same time to be able to rethink with others and make suggestions.

The project, in fact plans to rework and produce a summary of the interventions collected during the tour that will be published soon. Meanwhile, the information work carried out by the AwArtMali project, through the awareness raising of the population using the campaign and the theatrical caravan, produced an important result: In Yelekebougou it was announced by the local community leaders to set up an association of returning migrants with the aim of encouraging reintegration, advancing projects for the economic conditions improvement, linking up with the Malian diaspora in Europe.

The Yelekebougou festival was the occasion for a greeting and mutual recognition of the work carried out among the operators involved in the project starting from the director of Le tonus Ahmadou doumbia, to the project manager Amadou Sidibé, the local coordinator Moussa Souleymane Maiga, the communication manager Ibrahima Labass Keita and in particular the team of animators composed of Aminata Traorè, Tiemoko dembele, Satigui Cissoko who had continuous contacts with the villages for many months and carried out the field activities together with the communities.
The celebration was also the occasion for a greeting and appreciation to the head of Farneto Teatro, Maurizio Schmidt – creator and responsible for the part of project’s theatrical activities and the documentary under preparation – together with Mimma Gallina who took care of the logistical aspects with the Tunka company made of young African actors, directed by Luca Fusi who oversaw the mise en scène of the theatrical spectacle.

Through this feast it was possible to draw a positive assessment on the results already achieved and to trace the development directions of future activities in favour of the Malian people: a success made possible by the choice of theatre language, creative and artistic that marked the awareness campaign that wanted to seek a direct dialogue with the populations reached by the project.
The Ambassador of the European Commission Delegation in the Republic of Mali, H.E. Bart Ouvry, who was present at one of the representations in the Bamako districts, wanted to express to the director of Tamat ONG, project coordinator, his satisfaction towards the success and quality of the initiative in both substantive and artistic terms, and also considers it effective and a bearer of good prospects for future initiatives in favour of development policies in Mali also supported by projects funded by the European Commission.

AwArtMali is a project co-financed by the European Fund Asylum and Integration
European Union Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)