Insight Keeping popular culture alive! Innovative work in Burkina Faso UNAIS to launch Supporter Scheme Volume 1 Issue 3 Sept/Oct/Nov 1996 Eleanor Smithies first went to Burkina Faso in 1993 to work as a UNAIS Community Development Worker with l'Assocation d'Appui et de Promotion Rurale du Gulmu (APRG). She writes about her innovative work with one of the 40 farmer groups that APRG works with across Burkina Faso's three eastern provinces. Burkina Faso had a meningitis epidemic. Outside the clinic at Tangaye, seeking shade under the mango trees, a queue of two thousand waited, needles in hand, for their vaccinations. Our volunteer actors were among them. Health took priority over video-making that day. My colleague Adiara Rabo and I had just travelled 45 kilometres from our base at Fada N'Gourma. Not too big a distance on our motor cycles - the camera is light and the roads are good. Eleanor Smithies with APRG farmer group APRG has been making videos for three years now. We make them simply: one camera, one VCR, one TV and a portable generator. For a long time the villagers of Tangaye had worked with APRG on local development activities: cereal banks, soil conservation, rural credit, soap-making, literacy training, tree planting and gender issues. If we could tape such activities, their experience could be shared with other villages working with APRG. Last year Adiara and local villagers discussed making a small film about literacy and gender. Adiara's experience in video making and theatre workshops led her to favour Continued on page 6 UNAIS Project worker Ros Young has been work ing in institutional development with the Popular Art Centre in Al-Bireh, West Bank, since October 1994. She explains the significance of culture in sustaining Palestinian identity and the work of the Centre in promoting this aspect of national life. Keeping popular culture alive, particularly through folk- loric dance dabkeand traditional music, has been a critical component of promoting Palestinian national identity; critical because the occupation has undermined people's confidence, individually and collectively. Cul ture became a way of keeping traditions alive, of pro moting the nationalist struggle and resisting the occu pation. Culture and art took on a vibrant role in resist ing the occupation, and writers, artists, dancers and musicians were often imprisoned for celebrating Pales tinian tradition and identity. During the Intifadamost forms of celebration, culture and entertainment - public or private - were considered improper out of respect for those killed in the struggle. The few cinemas and theatres were closed and a whole generation lost any cultural or artistic stimulus. The Popular Art Centre was one of the few cultural organisations which kept going through this period, al though with a much restricted programme. Its found ers were key members of the Al-Fanoun As-Shaabiyeh Continued on page 6 Going back to the first edition of Insight (March 1996), we led with an article about our strategic plan. This includes diversifying our fundraising and increasing development education in the UK. In order to achieve these aims we are in the proc ess of setting up a Working Group to see how UNAIS might position itself within the arena of international development agencies based in the UK. See page 2 for further details.

Krantenbank Zeeland

Watersnood documentatie 1953 - diversen | 1996 | | pagina 1