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SNC 2012 - opening show: Let there peace on earth
an article by Ab. Bayili, Ouaga Bobo

"Ben Kadi" is the show offered to the public by the collective Sya Ben for the opening of the 16th annual National Culture Week at the sports stadium of Yéguéré. The show promotes a peace that is "not just a word, but a way of acting." "Since wars begin the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that it should be overcome". The collective Sya Ben has very well illustrated this UNESCO declaration by means of its show entitled "Ben Kadi" which means "peace" in the dioula language.

click on photo to enlarge

The show is a veritable geographic, historical and artistic story of Burkina Faso. I can be subdivided into five scenes. Scene 1 introduces the different actors including the musicians. It is carried out in several musical melodies of the peoples of Burkina Faso. The orchestration is dominated principally by djembés and balafons. This allows the audience to discover the repertory of instruments of the music of Burkina Faso.

Scene 2 is an example of the social cohesion factor in the development of peoples. It symbolizes a model of "living together" in harmony, understanding and listening. The scene offers an artistic spectacle involving all generations, youth, men, women, elders, etc. of Burkina Faso. The use of musical instruments, costumes, and crafts symbolize the cultural wealth and the peaceful coexistence of the peoples of Burkina Faso. The sequences move throughout all regions of the country, presenting their uniqueness.

Scene 3 illustrates the talents of the dancers of the city of Sya. It presents an artistic ballet composed of 120 dancers, 30 of whom are women. Among the dancers, Marine Courtois, a young woman from Annecy, France, came to Bobo-Dioulasso to learn traditional dance, played her part well. With harmonious dance movements and colorful costumes, the choreographed ballet was well conceived and artistically performed.

The theme of the choreography appears really in scene 4. The sequence evokes pardon and peace in spirit as well as in the heart. The release of doves into the sky of Sya and the portrayal of "angels" landing on the stage symbolizes the message of peace. . .

"Ben Kadi" is presented as a dialogue among peoples and among cultures by means of dance choreography. The show can also be understood as a voyage in our consciousness with the ultimate aim of understanding and hope. It will certainly remain engraved in our memories, our hearts and our spirits. Beyond its artistic aspect, "Ben Kadi" is a contribution to the promotion of the virtues of understanding and the consolidation of peace. The show was put on for 13 days and engaged 200 artists of Bobo Dioulasso, according to the choreographer, Oumar Démé.

The collective Sya Ben consists of artists and cultural workers from the region of the high basins, residents or diaspora of Burkina Faso

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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Latest reader comment:

Yes, the arts do create a basis for a culture of peace.
The question I would raise is where are the visual artists who have produced a Guernica like painting of Felluja? Paintings last longer than photographs which are too often fleeting.
Do the poets against the war meet annually?
I caught a bit of an interesting tv show which featured world class artists such as Wole Soyinka speaking in Israel/Palestine about ways to further the peace movement there. Did anyone else see the entire show?
I hope a local Peace Day could emulate the UN opening ceremony .

This report was posted on April 12, 2012.