Opera Village Africa
What is Opera Village Africa?
The Operndorf Afrika is located 30 km northeast of Burkina Faso´s capital city and can be seen as a global art project envisioning to combine arts with education in order to centralize inspiration and creativity back into people’s life while finding harmony with local needs and traditions. It´s a place where people from different backgrounds should be able to work as artists and exchange views about art and experiences with each other.
Why did we choose Opera Village Africa?
Opera Vilages´s architect Diébédo Francis Kéré (holder of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and Swiss Architectural Award) criticizes the European program for development assistance. For example, he thinks that the way how schools are built in developing countries is not well thought out. „They can develop projects, put them into action and build schools as often as they want but they have to involve the local people in the process and should hand it over so the locals can develop it further.”
Not only Afrika´s natural resources but also their spiritual and cultural treasures and characteristics have been exploited. However together with projects like Opera Village Africa we can give back the enormous creative and cultural potential to the young and even the old generations.
The deceased founder, initiator, film director, author and performance artist Christoph Schlingensief wanted to create a place for intercultural exchange and postcolonial discourses in order to build a revised and new differentiated image of Africa. Besides the theater in the village, he also wanted to emphasize on education and common shared living spaces in the form of houses, hospitals and schools on the 14-hectare big areal.
In our gallery, we show how the project looks like and display some of the architectural sides of the Opera Village as well as how the people use art as foundation of their peaceful cohabitation.
Goal of the Opera Village Africa is supporting and helping people in developing countries to help themselves. It envisions a pilot project that helps the people in Africa to face challenges of the modern world more confident. It also initiates a necessary change process and accelerates the change together with the people there.
The artistic form and expression that´s necessary to develop the identity of children is significantly influenced by arts and education. Donations are not distributed to the people but are invested in the expansion and development of pilot project that will then handed over to the local community. This will enable them to independently organize their cohabitation and self-sufficiency while being able to go back to their cultural roots and further developing them by using it in their education scheme.