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Mali: Women Puppeteers Trained for the First Time


 In Mali, a training of puppeteers has been opened for women from all over West Africa to learn how to create their puppets and animate them. A discovery for some. The women traveled from Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Burkina Faso to follow this puppeteer training in Bamako. For some, this is the first time they touch a puppet. This art is still largely reserved for men. Jeannette is an actress. In Bobo, Burkina Faso, it is impossible to find such training. “In my city, men do not give training to women, it is a closed environment, it is only for men, we women, do not have the opportunity, not the opportunity to train.” Yacouba Magassouba wanted to change the codes by opening the world of puppets to women. Today they learn to give a face to their puppet, an expression. And even manipulate them added Kadidiatou who still has things to learn. She came from Ivory Coast to glean ideas for her female puppeteer company. For her, “there are countries where the puppets are considered mystical and as women, we wanted to try to modernize them, to raise awareness and to correct the shortcomings”. This work of creation requires patience and application. Especially when you touch a puppet for the first time like Aminata. “I feel like I am a child again, with a doll, I am an animator, and in animation, puppets have to be incited, to work with children, they are leisure activities.” Then we must clothe the doll and slip into the skin of the character. Next January, another training will take place and these women will then go on stage for the Festival in Bamako.  Source: TV5 World