PHILIPPE GUIONIE

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REFUGE IN DANCE INFO [MIN.] [DIAPORAMA]

REFUGE IN DANCE
Since 2007, the Chadian dancer and choreographer Ahmed Taïgué has been running dance workshops in the refugee camps of southern Chad. These provide a unique experience and serve as a model for Africa and beyond.

Having been trained - from the age of 13 - in the traditional dance forms of 260 ethnic groups in Chad, Ahmed Taïgué put together one of the first companies of contemporary dance of N’Djamena in 2002, called the Young Stage Artists of Chad. In 2005, at the age of 28, he founded his association Ndam Se Na (<>) and started making a difference in prisons and working-class districts. After 2007 he set up his first workshops in the refugee camps of Moula and Yaroungou in the south of the country - home to some 16 000 exiles from Central Africa. The choreographer does not ask for specific dance routines but guides improvisations which centre around each group member. Beyond simply dance, Ahmed Taïgué tries to make people aware of the issues of child marriage, the need to encourage children’s attendance at school, as well as hygiene – at the same time trying to integrate them into community life.

A socially committed artist, he hopes to extend this project to other African countries using the same principle: putting a dancer in contact with refugees whose number is estimated at 2.6 million in the African continent - according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).