Safeguarding the Oulad Mbarek epic

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 88,375 granted in 2021
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 08/08/2022 - 30/06/2024
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Mauritania

Overview:

Given the ever-decreasing number of bearers, namely the griot, the project aims to collect the repertoire of poems in writing, sound and image to promote access to and facilitate transmission of the tradition. The project, which is being implemented by the International Foundation of the Aïn Farba Festival in close collaboration with local communities, is based on three major axes: (a) a campaign to raise awareness of the cultural and historical interest of the epic and the need to safeguard it, including the development of communication materials and a documentary; (b) a series of activities focusing on the transmission of the practice to younger generations; and (c) the creation of an inventory of the elements of the Oulad Mbarek epic. Furthermore, sixty community members are informed about the 2003 Convention, as well as about inventorying and its crucial role in safeguarding living heritage. The inventory will be undertaken in collaboration with the bearers and include capacity-building workshops, the development of a digital database and a thesaurus that can be accessed and updated by researchers and bearers. The project contributes to the development of additional products and performances such as concerts, plays and films. It is expected to encourage the manufacture of traditional musical instruments, thus creating income-generating activities.

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