Ivory Coast resumes a cultural life
Even though after ten months of war the Ivory Coast has its hands
full disarming the combatants, the country’s cultural life
is beginning to bounce back. A festival that was postponed due to
the war will now take place and different cultural contests have
been organised. War, peace and reconciliation are the themes.
Children between the ages of 8 and 15 can participate in a theatre
competition during the coming months. The plays will deal with the
war as seen through the eyes of children. Six groups will be selected
for the finale on 19 September, the date on which the war began
Musicians can compete for the La Patrie d'Or prize that will be
awarded on 1 August during a gala in the Palais de la Culture. Compositions
that were published during the war and called for unity and reconciliation
can be submitted between 1 to 10 July.
The Word and Book Association (Association Parole et Livre) (ALP)
also began a competition on 8 July with a special objective. Young
writers were invited to put their thoughts about the crisis and
the restoration of peace on paper. The ALP hopes that books about
the war will ensure that people do not forget what has happened.
Ten stories will be selected and published as a collection. The
writer of the best story will win a computer, the second and third
prizes are cash prizes.
The sixth MASA festival (Market of arts and of the African spectacle)(Marché
des arts et du spectacle Africains), that had to be postponed due
to the war, will take place during the first week of September.
This festival, which is held every two years, functions as a market
where artists, producers and distributors can meet one another.
One important objective is to promote the international publication
of music, dance and theatre productions.
The minister of culture, Anne Messou. has assured people that the
festival will be both peaceful and safe. "We want to celebrate
peace during this festival. Peace and culture are connected. MASA
2003 has a special meaning, because it will be the crown of all
the work that has been done to realise peace in this country."
Marrigje de Bok