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Newsletter December 2019

The AwArtMali project theatrical caravan

Raise awareness and inform through art and culture

 The AwArtMali project

The AwArtMali project aims to contribute to the change of perceptions and behaviour of Malian people looking to irregular migration towards the EU as the only solution to their socio-economic problems. I this context, we find the information campaign TAMA365 that is characterized by being a multichannel campaign able to use the traditional tools of art and culture still alive in the Malian people.

It’s not just a media campaign

The awareness campaign does not only use the media such as radio, apps and blogs. Among the various activities aimed at changing the behaviour of the Malians in relation to migration, there is also a travelling theatrical show that moving from city to city, from village to village, will contribute to the achievement of the project objectives and reach the people to inform and raise awareness in a more direct and effective way.

The intention is to write a theatre show in which the audience can recognize themselves, feel involved and interact in order to create an exchange of information about the possibilities of migration.

It will build a theatrical “Pan-African” caravan, which will be composed by Malian actors and not only, musicians, but also educators, whose task will be to capture the population attention by creating channels of communication through the artistic language, a universal language par excellence.

The choice of the caravan is not accidental; it symbolically represents migration. This memory, deep-rooted in the African culture and not only Malian, will be used as a key tool to create discussion and awareness raising on the issue of migration.

As with the other tools of the campaign, it was decided to give a strong cultural imprint, using the Bambara language, music, dances, masks and local actors, in order to get in direct contact with the audience, touching themes and stories familiar to them. This is possible only through the theatre, which with lightness and fun can enter the imagination of people while dealing with dramatic themes.

Obviously, the construction of the show took place through a close collaboration between Farneto Teatro, partner responsible for this action, stakeholders, village leaders, associations and the local population, in order to collect useful information to develop the representation. The necessary data were identified through interviews carried out by the partners during the preparatory research and construction of the communication strategy phase, were interviewed potential migrants, return migrants, griots, village leaders, school directors, teachers and pupils of secondary and primary schools. The data collection activity was not limited to Africa, but was also extended to migrants, resident in the countries of the project partners: Spain and Italy.

Even when it comes to the author of this opera, we also wanted to refer to an important African performer: Ildevert Meda, recognized in all Sub-Saharan Africa and winner in 2009 of the African Grand Prix award for French-speaking theatre.

The artistic director of the show will be Luca Fusi, a professional in the sector with extensive experience in the theatre field, in collaboration with one of the most important theatre schools of the Sahel, the Centre Culturel Gambidi of Ougadougou, directed by Kira Claude Guingane. This is to underline the Pan-African value that is being given to the spectacle precisely to highlight that the migration problem is not only a Malian issue, but which concerns the whole Sahel and looking forward the whole Africa.

The travelling theatrical show

Once the staff has been defined, it’s time to establish the construction, development and dissemination activity plan. Following the production agenda, this second part was divided into three stages of development. In the first phase, which runs from November 24 to December 20 2019, at the GAMBIDI space in Ouagadougou the production team together with the actors, the Malian comedians of the Maaya group and the artistic manager (Luca Fusi) will create the play.

The second phase will cover the debut of the show that will take place at the cultural space GAMBIDI from the 5th to the 18th of January 2020.

The last phase refers to the actual theatrical tour. In fact, the first performance will take place from the 20th to 28th of January 2020 in Ouagadougu, and then will continue with a 4-week theatre tour starting from January 25 to February 28 2020 in Mali.

The Maaya group will deal with the choice of the places where to bring the show and the performances will be organized in the following way: 5 shows in Bamako of which 2 in the centre and 3 in the suburbs; 15 shows in Kati of which 1 in the town of Kati and 14 in the villages involved in the project.

The organisation of the representations in Kati and in the villages will be the responsibility of the AwArtMali staff with the fundamental support of the Malian NGO Le Tonus, that will take care of the moments of animation and debate in the places of representation, thus being able to inform and raise awareness about the contents and with the chosen methods, to spread and realize the communication campaign TAMA365.