Although it is said «traditional» in Africa, the puppet arts sector is not yet really professionalized there. Aware of this reality, UNIMA – International Puppetry Union, thus proposed, with the Ivoire Marionnette Academy (Ivory Coast) and the Djarama Center (Senegal), a training cycle associated with creation and professional meetings, all in the framework of the 90 years of the organization. This project had the vocation not only to accompany the professionalization of the sector, integrating, in particular, young artists into the activities, but also to provide visibility to the African puppet arts thanks to the different collaborations established. The partners thus tended towards a greater structuring of puppet actors and actresses in Africa.
Different actions were launched: a cycle of professional training courses, a creation as a concrete experience and test within a creative work, directed by a recognized artist, and two seminars on cultural entrepreneurship in Africa as training complements with recognized professionals in the partner countries of the project.
The proposed formations and the organized transnational creation are so many tools for structuring the puppet actors in Africa. UNIMA and its partners have collectively carried, with this project, the desire to allow the actors and actresses of the sector to have a better interacquaintance and be able, thus, to continue projects together in the future, and this, thanks to the existence of the Centers UNIMA Nationals in Africa.
The «Customs» creation, supported by the Djarama Center under the direction of Patricia Gomis, toured different countries of French-speaking Africa from September 24 to October 9, 2022, at the French Institute in Dakar (Senegal), at the Maison de la Gare de St Louis (Senegal), at the «Art de la Scène et des Savoir Endogènes» festival by Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), at cultural centers in Ougadougou (Burkina Faso), at cultural centers in Bamako (Mali) .
This brochure is a summary of what has been achieved despite the difficulties and other dangers encountered.