Tag "burkina-faso"

Updates and work in progress

24 January, 2019

The lost balafon of Samorogouan

Lacole Traoré tells the story of how a balafon typical of Guinea arrived in his village of Samorogouan, in Western Burkina Faso, and entered the history of his family. The story is one of circulation of musical knowledge and defies most accepted wisdom on griots and musical traditions in West Africa. This music is now…

15 June, 2015

The Taxidermist

Boubacar Traoré belongs to a family of renowned gunsmiths in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In this short documentary he describes his work as a taxidermist and goes through memories of his first hippopotamus hunt. In the region killing one of these animals is still a serious matter, because they are held capable of tricking the hunter…

11 April, 2015

Donso Funeral in Karankasso

Today is the first day of this year’s cycle of funerals in Karankasso Sambla. Music has played all night yesterday, and today in the early afternoon there is more music and various rituals are performed. I have joined the hunters who gathered to honour the mother of one of them, Karim Ouattara. Karim is the…

10 April, 2015

Bringing Kalanda back Home

One of the main aims of my April 2015 trip to Burkina Faso is to screen my documentary Kalanda – The Knowledge of the Bush to the hunters who are its protagonists. But the trip is also an opportunity to meet again, after three years, my fellow students in donsoya. As far as the group…

21 November, 2014

The Speaking Balafon

In the past two weeks I have been presenting some video fragments from the footage I am working on for the documentary The Sambla Baan. First for a presentation in Italy and later for my course on West Africa here in Manchester, I selected two short scenes that show interactions between the musician playing the…

31 August, 2014

Numuya – The blacksmiths of Koko

When on fieldwork in Burkina Faso, working on donso hunters and their knowledge of the bush, I found myself to need a shotgun in order to join the hunters in their outings. In Bobo Dioulasso I came across Boubacar Traoré, who comes from a Jula family of blacksmiths. He sold me a locally made 12-gauge…