Promoting Burkina Faso’s Culture in Berlin

Art as Cultural Diplomacy

May 31st, 2019
Yerang Jang, News from Berlin
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The Embassy of Burkina Faso in Berlin will have a film screening called “Burkinabè Rising: the art of resistance in Burkina Faso(2018)” and a music concert in Kulturfabrik Moabit on Saturday June 15, 2019.

“Burkinabè Rising”, a documentary from director Iara Lee, showcases creative nonviolent resistance in Burkina Faso. A small, landlocked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso is home to a vibrant community of artists and engaged citizens, who provide an example of the type of political change that can be achieved when people come together. It is an inspiration, not only to the rest of Africa but also to the rest of the world.

Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder/director of the Cultures of Resistance Network, an organization that promotes global solidarity and connects and supports agitators, educators, farmers, and artists to build a more just and peaceful world through creative resistance and nonviolent action!

Through music, film, ecology, visual art, and architecture, the people featured in this film are carrying on the revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara. After assuming the presidency in 1983, Sankara was killed in a 1987 coup d'état led by his friend and close advisor Blaise Compaoré, who subsequently ruled the country as an autocrat for twenty-seven years. In October 2014 a massive popular insurrection led to his removal. Today, the spirit of resistance is mightier than ever in Burkina Faso.

In the fall of 2016, director Iara Lee traveled throughout the country to film “Burkinabè Rising”. Through this journey, she met a remarkable cast of artists, musicians, and activists who are using the country's artistic traditions to propel forward a message of resistance: Joey le Soldat, a rapper, infuses his lyrics with references to the struggles of the impoverished youth in Ouagadougou, the country's capital, as well as those of the farmers who toil in the country outside. Marto, Burkina Faso's most well-known graffiti artist, turns barren city walls into colorful murals decrying injustice. Malika la Slameuse, a women's rights activist, performs slam poetry that offers a feminist perspective on a male-dominated art form. Serge Aimé Coulibaly uses dance as a form of political resistance, with movement borne from a need to speak out and take action.

* Program:
- 4 to 6 pm / Drum workshop with Moussa Coulibaly
Moussa Coulibaly is a griot musician from Burkina Faso. With his group LONITIBA, which means "In life you never learn", he introduces a variety of West African instruments combining the traditional Burkinabe music with jazz elements.
- 7 pm / Buffet Opening (African food)
- 8 pm / Film screening of “Burkinabe Rising”
- 9 pm / Concert with LONITIBA

* Entrance fee: 5 euros (FREE for children and teens)
* Contact: +49 176 34 91 46 00 (Moussa Coulibaly) / (Clement Drabo)


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