UNESCO Director-General stands with African Artists for Development and Magic System to support refugees
Paris, 29 June 2016 – Irina Bokova attended the world premiere of the contemporary dance show « Du désir d’horizon » by choreographer Salia Sanou at the Theatre National de Chaillot, held under the patronage of UNESCO. The event celebrated 25 years of the French company Tilder, in tribute to the programs led by African Artists for Development (AAD) in refugee camps in Africa.
The Director-General stressed the vital role of culture and education to support people in emergency situations, and paid tribute to the work of African Artists for Development to restore hope and courage through dance classes and workshops in refugee camps. The choreographer Salia Sanou presented a show inspired by the program “Refugees on the move” led by ADD in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“There is only one answer to the suffering of the other, and that is solidarity, mutual help and tolerance” Irina Bokova stated, recalling the role of UNESCO in promoting culture and quality education, particularly in Mali, Iraq, Jordan and Afghanistan. “Culture is a lever of resilience in adversity, a way to take courage and confidence in the future”, she added.
The Director-General also paid tribute to Magic System and A’Salfo, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, by sponsoring the signature of an agreement with ADD, for the opening of libraries in schools funded by the Magic System Foundation.
“The first value of an artist is sharing, on stage with the public and outside the scene, giving back some of what we received”, said A’Salfo, thanking the Director-General and UNESCO for support to Magic System initiatives for education.
The evening was moderated by Claire Chazal, in the presence of the Finance Minister of France, Mr. Michel Sapin, the Director of the National Theatre of Chaillot, Mr. Didier Deschamps, the President of Tilder, Mr. Matthias Léridon, the President of African Artists for Development Mrs Gervanne Colboc-Leridon and the choreographer Salia Sanou.
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