Snapshot: Aguibou Bougobali Sanou (Burkina Faso, 2018/19)
"Arts-Green-Culture is an ecological project that aims to save biodiversities, reduce extreme poverty and violence, and build a sustainable economy for the local population in Burkina Faso"
Aguibou Bougobali Sanou runs a number of transformative artistic, ecological, social and community initiatives in Burkina Faso and around the world. We caught up with Aguibou to learn more about his recent and on-going projects.
Arts-Green-Culture is an ecological project. I call it the 3 in 1 formula which means we create an artistic residency in a biological and organic farm in order to:
- Save the biodiversities that we have and that we are losing every month
- Reduce extreme poverty, violence and gender inequality
- Create a sustainable economy for artists and the local population.
In-Out Dance Festival
In-Out Dance Festival is an international dance festival in public spaces of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. The Festival's main objective is to promote regional development of Burkina by the valorization of cultural, social, and economic potential, through international- and local-cultural exchange. The festival also aims to:
- Develop cultural and social links among artists in general and specifically dancers and choreographers of Burkina and those from the world.
- Create a cultural space for artists and artisans, for those who represent and value their culture, in order to manifest diversity
- Open to the international market for cultural productions
- Democratize dance and make it accessible to everyone
- Develop strong professional capacities and abilities for those involved in the organization of the festival
- Create launch opportunities for young artists and talented artisans.
- Value the culture of tourism and its economic impact
- Promote the good understanding of cultures through mutually beneficial collaboration and effective dynamic partnerships
- Facilitate democratic and social issue debates and exchanges for youths
Here's the call for proposals for In-Out Dance Festival 2022.
Prison dance program
I aim to provide prisoners with skills to prevent them re-offending by offering them a chance to reignite the support and acceptance of their families who have largely rejected them.
Every year since 2014, I bring international and local dance artists to perform for inmates. Since 2016, I have run a program with the support of authorities, in order to propose another possible route for inmates’ reintegration after their time in jail. Dance allows the inmates to work through their emotions and reflect on their pasts.
The project was so successful that the TV channels Al-Jazeera and the national TV did two documentary films based on my work with inmates.
I honestly think that this kind of project can help to fight against extreme poverty, and reduce extremism and terrorism.
Fulbright was a unique, unforgettable, and amazing experience. I think if the Fulbright program did not exist, it would have to be created. We must do our best to keep this program.
For my part it allowed me to learn a lot about the USA, their sense of American patriotism, and this commitment to give to everyone their chance. Fulbright allowed me to meet very sensitive people and personalities who allowed me to have the honor of developing my MFA research as a student at UArts Philadelphia alongside the artistic, social and community projects I am leading in Africa and abroad. My Fulbright experience awakened potentialities that lay dormant within me.
Winner of the highly selective and prestigious US State Department Fulbright Scholarship, Aguibou Bougobali SANOU is a dancer, performing artist, choreographer, musician, storyteller, International Dance Festival Director and dance educator. He received another fellowship from NYU -The Center for Ballet and The Arts (NYU-CBA) in 2020
In 2016, he was a semi-finalist on “Africa’s Got Talent,” and won the Visa pour la creation from the Institut Francais de Paris, Facets Choreographer residency in India. Born in Burkina Faso and raised in Burkina Faso and Mali, West Africa, Aguibou’s work is a mix of West African Mandingo traditional dances, Brazilian capoeira and theater expressions drawn from his experiences with influential European stage directors. His dance goes beyond the simple beauty of movement: it speaks, questions, and disturbs. His dance deconstructs and rebuilds, it balances, touches the heart, and soothes souls. Simply stated, his dance Heals.
He designed an African dance curriculum at Naugatuck Valley Community College 2018-2019 and created dance programs at the civil prison of Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso).
Aguibou Bougobali SANOU is currently a Low Residency MFA student at University of the Arts Philadelphia.