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The Festival of the Route of Queens and Kings
an article by M’Bah Aboubakar, Abidjan Net

The caravan of the 8th edition of the International Festival of the route of Queens and Kings (Festirois) begins Monday September 5, directed toward the western part of Côte d’Ivoire. Coming after the northern route, the western route opens this yer under the theme "Royalties, traditional chiefs and new governments: culture of peace, resolution of conflicts and actions for a sustainable national reconciliation." This theme is especially pertinent in the present situation of Côte d’Ivoire which is emerging from a crisis which affected every aspect of its development, economic, political and social.

click on photo to enlarge

Professor Amoa Urbain, President of the University Charles Louis de Montesquieu, which has initiated the Festirois, took the occasion in a press conference to lay out the objectives of this 8th edition. It is intended to "create a framework of research and action around its cultural activities", to "produce the tools and supports for social cohesion as the basis for development' and to "construct a political, long-term action plan based on ancient values, new democratic structures and new strategies of governance.

The elaboration of a "dictionary of proper names" and a "guide to the rituals of Côte d’Ivoire civil society" are also envisaged.

It is the localities of Daloa, Duékoué, Man, Guiglo, Danané, Toulepleu, et Biankouma who will receive the procession which will include not only Ivoirienne delegations, but also those from Ghana, Benin, Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Liberia, Sénégal, Cap Vert, Niger, Guinée, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, and Guinée Bissau.

This year's Festirois will feature an exposition of antiques and execution of ancient danses to honor the ancestral heritage, as well as role-playing and street theatre to de-dramatise contemporary conflicts. According to Professor Amoa Urbain, this year's festival responds to the need to bring out the culture of the West, after the difficulties that this region experienced during the recent crisis.

Numerous partners are supporting this year's Festirois, including the Ministries of Culture, Francophonie, Tourism, African Integration and Promotion of Youth and Civic Service.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?,

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This report was posted on September 11, 2011.