An arts-based, grassroots, cultural emersion study abroad /
professional development program with a three credit option through
July 5-20, 2009
West Africa is rich with humanistic culture that is transferred from
generation to generation through its art forms. This course will offer
students an arts-based emersion experience, in Senegal, exploring the
humanism and wisdom of West African cultures through the clearest
windows to these cultures, their art forms. This program will focus
on traditional dance, drumming and song.
This exciting two-week study abroad program will be based for one week
in the Casamance, a geographically isolated region in the southern
most part of Senegal, known as the "Garden of Senegal". This is a
rural area, in which traditional rituals and an animistic spiritual
cosmology are still very prevalent.
The beautiful and very historic Goree Island (a twenty minute ferry
ride to Dakar) will be home to students during part of the second week
of this cultural emersion experience. Goree Island is a village
hundreds of years old and home to the Slave House Museum, which stands
as a reminder of the exportation of West Africans as slaves from her
shores. Finally, students will spend several days in the northern
Theis Region of Senegal, indigenous to the Wolof people of Senegal.
While in Senegal students will have the opportunity to:
Study indigenous dance, drumming and song in their traditional
contexts as well as with National Artists. Dance and Drum classes
will be held almost everyday.
Prepare for and participate in a Bambara Genie Follie ritual
Attend lectures on "Spirituality and the Arts in West Africa", "Islam
in Senegal and How This Religion Interfaces with Senegalese Arts and
Culture" as well as "Transposing Traditional Dance and Music (not just
in form but with their innate transformative powers intact) From The
Village to the Stage".
Attend a National Ballet of Senegal rehearsal and/or performance.
Visit the Slave House, Ifa Museum, the Theis Museum of Tapestries, and
the University of Dakar.
Meet with a traditional practitioner, watch artisans at work, and
visit traditional open markets in Ziginchor, Casamance and on Goree
Participate in community service by providing a class/activity for a
group of Ussoforal School of the Arts students re: a subject of your
Fatou-Carol Sylla founded A Special Cultural Exchange in 1985 and has
organized and led West African arts based, grassroots study abroad
programs for more than two decades in Senegal, Guinea and Guinea
Bissau, including several years for Bradford College. She does this
in conjunction with Sadio Diatta Rosche, international artist, founder
and director of Ussoforal School of the Arts serving 300 children in
Senegal and Guinea Bissau and tour organizer in her native Casamance;
Fotigue Toure, music director of the National Theater Group of
Senegal; Cheikh Sene, Chancellor of Bambey University, Senegal and
many artists/family members
Fees and Payment Schedule
$1800 due March 15, 2009
Final payment of $1550 due May 15, 2009
Includes: Roundtrip airfare NY/Dakar/NY and airport transfers
Local housing: Three meals a day while in Casamance,
noon and evening meals in Dakar/Goree and no meals while traveling
Classes, excursions and all planned activities
Optional: Lesley University $150 per credit up to three credits
For more information on this program or the upcoming midwifery
program, call Fatou-Carol at 617-868-6193 or email at HYPERLINK
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