Burkina Faso

In 2009 Performing Arts Hub Norway entered collaboration with CITO in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in a three-year performing arts project. The project is supported by The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Performing arts in movement – Cultural collaboration with CITO in Burkina Faso

The ”Performing arts in movement” project builds on an idea of exchange on equal footing. Norway and Burkina Faso both have rich cultural traditions that artists have always been, and still are, devoted to convey through different performing arts expressions. In an increasingly tough, unpredictable and globalised reality - for better and for worse - this cultural material seems to make a platform of increasing importance, in meeting ourselves, our own culture and the culture of others. Further CITO (Le Carrefour International du Théâtre de Ougadougou) wishes to build on its founding idea, to convey classics while examining and developing contemporary expressions. In addition it is important to remember that performing arts in itself, as an art form, relates to other art forms in a coherent intention onstage; music, visual arts, dance etc., expressions the African culture has rich traditions within. Modern performing arts include more artistic expressions than the word alone, the way we know it in the literary theatre universe.

In the collaboration project with Performing Arts Hub Norway CITO has expressed the wish to maintain the organisational module: CITO is a young organisation in a very vulnerable, unpredictable reality, politically as well as economically and structurally. The organisation is democratically structured, with members and member enterprises, and with a clear artistic management - to be changed on a regular basis, for reasons of democracy as well as art. Through democracy balanced with clear artistic direction the organisation has its opportunity to be dynamic. These two fundamental characteristics signify innovation for a Burkinabe institution and demand continuous maintenance and management: They are based on rules to be administrated.

Thus the following list refers to what CITO wants emphasised in the collaboration.

· Working with local political anchorage in a society in which governments and ministers are often replaced.

· Structure of the member organisation, maintenance of members, new recruitment, proportional representation etc.

· Development of the organisation, project management on a national and international level, in which included work with organisational tools adjusted to diverse activity. The role of CITO as a collaborative organisation.

· Internationalisation, building of networks, this including mapping of relevant potential local, national, regional and international professional collaboration partners. How do the greater cultural structures of these parts of Africa look, and how can one strengthen local networking on the continent? And internationally? In this we do not only include the bilateral. Through other networks and projects Performing Arts Hub Norway is involved in today, we can also contribute to connections with new contacts.

Professional and artistic exchange project. 2009 – 2012.

As of today CITO presents itself with a clear three-part internal structure:

1. A producing theatre aiming to create high-quality performing arts in Burkina Faso.

2. A member organisation aiming to educate and develop the skills of the members.

3. A cultural centre - a vital meeting place for production and collaboration within performing arts, at a local, regional, national and international level.

Member development. Further education of members.

Workshops, classes (voice, plasticity, different performing arts skills) and other education and development efforts. An adjusted ”performing arts education” over three years, to follow up on the professional development of a core staff of members, plus further education offerings for new members.

Storytelling tradition: Artistic exchange.

A. Development of performing arts texts anchored in African storytelling tradition
The work in developing performing arts texts must take place through different workshops based on Burkinabe storytelling traditions, legends and myths. There are different methods on how such material can be transformed into performing action. In Norway there are different dramatic approaches and artistic experiences in relation to this, within the independent performing arts companies as well as within theatre institutions. We want to establish a so-called ”bank of knowledge” related to this. Storytelling traditions are found everywhere. They create intercultural meetings.
Full-length performance: The aim is to develop dramatic texts as a textual basis for a repertoire production performed regularly (target group: children/families). CITO wishes to build a ”theatre habit” through a production performed on a regular basis, once every year.
B. Audience and dissemination work, in particular directed towards new audience groups.
Here CITO's work with the ”Theatre tent” and ”Theatre in schools” projects can be connected to The Cultural Rucksack in Norway. Touring productions, visiting performances for children and youth. Building competence on the dissemination/management functions, developing understanding of different performing arts expressions; dance, puppetry, physical theatre, text-based theatre, storytelling theatre etc. Dissemination is of increasing importance.

CITO – Performing Arts Hub Norway, organisation to organisation

Performing Arts Hub Norway is not to give all education, but is now preparing a project with different professional resources participating. Because of this we want to initiate a process in Norway, inviting and anchoring the project with Norwegian artists and other relevant milieus. During the following three years Performing Arts Hub Norway will take overall responsibility for the project, using different collaboration partners. These can be companies, individuals or institutions. The selection will take place in dialogue with CITO. As such, the different project parts are professionally performed by the respective workers in collaboration with CITO.

For more information, please contact the management of Performing Arts Hub Norway. 



Daglig leder:
Tove Bratten
tlf.: (+47) 23 10 09 80
mob: (+47) 91 55 42 91

Faglig rådgiver:
Christina Friis
tlf.: (+47) 23 10 09 80
mob: (+47) 99 00 39 29

Redaktør Sceneweb/
faglig rådgiver:

Elisabeth Leinslie
tlf.:(+47) 23 10 09 80
mob: (+47) 99 16 76 27

Geir Lindahl
tlf.: (+47) 23 10 09 80
mob: (+47) 48 19 17 87 SceneWeb Black Box Theater Scenekunstbruket