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Africa | Burkina Faso
Culture - Arts

First "African Poetry Market" opens in Ouagadougou

afrol News, 4 March - On the fringe of the pan-African Fespaco film festival in the capital of Burkina Faso, a four-day poetry marketplace was opened today. The first-ever "African Poetry Market", which organisers hope to repeat during forthcoming Fespaco festivals, is dedicated to the issue "Poetry and Development".

Malaika, a Francophone African publishing house based in Ottawa, Canada, has invited the African cultural community to attend the first edition of the African Poetry Market, which today starts debating the topic of "Poetry and Development." The poetry marketplace takes place between 4 and 7 March in Ouagadougou, reported the festival's official daily bulletin 'Fespaco News' today.

The poetry event is also open to the public, 'Fespaco News' informs. Burkinabe people and visitors to Ouagadougou "can seize this opportunity to interact with poets and successful publishers from several West African countries and Europe," the bulletin says.

The debates are meant to constitute an interaction for everyone to not only debate poetry and development, but also "country of the poem, poem of the country."

- Poetry is well known in Africa, it is part of daily life, said Angele Bassoulé, director of the Malaika publishing house. "Besides, Africa moves to the rhythm of poetry, whether romantic or political," Bassoulé added.

Mahamadou Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso's Minister of Culture is sponsoring the event, which is the very first in Africa, along with the Canadian Province of Ontario. Minister Ouedraogo was expected to participate at the opening ceremony today.

A veritable poetic village is being set up in the poetry market place at the Maison du Peuple in downtown Ouagadougou. "Guided tours of tourist areas in the capital and surrounding areas will be organised," 'Fespaco News' advised today.

During poetry days in Ouagadougou, priority was to be given to direct interactions between the poet and the audience. Public readings, dedication sessions as well as evening performances would also be scheduled during the four-day event.

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