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Cinemarena was an experience, a discovery of the real situation of my country. Thanks to this project I was able, as an artist and singer, to inform my people on irregular migration and to advise them to try to migrate through regular channels.
Matar Khoudia Ndiaye alias Big Makhou Djolof
It was a group, a strong and supportive family, that had a great influence on me, not only as a returnee but also as a singer. It allowed me to debate ideas and exchange opinions with people on how to fight irregular migration.
Buba A. Jallow
My main role was to entertain the audience. Contributing to CinemArena helped me build passion for issues related to migration. The experience continues to motivate me to raise awareness on the risks of irregular migration within my own community.
And every time the sun goes down, CinemArena turns on the projector and people gather around the arena, widening their eyes with enthusiasm. We get the sense of linking cultures and emotions of the many villages that received us, using a single universal language: the poetry of images.
Chantal Lédjê Gouanan
It was a real pleasure for us to be able to put our art to the service of the people. When one is passionate about one's work, one also appreciates being able to share this passion in a useful way! A magical experience, which we can't wait to relive!
Saïkou Oumar Tall
Thanks to CinemArena, we were able to conduct mass awareness raising throughout almost all of the localities of Mamou. As a returned migrant, I passed on a message about my own experience, which touched thousands of people, young people in particular, motivating them to try and succeed at home.
Knowledge permits conscious choice. The perception of being able to make a difference in one's behaviour generates a sense of self-determination and responsibility.
CinemArena was a remarkable experience for me, as I had first-hand information from the returnees about the risks and dangers of the irregular journey. It was a great way to show the audience that the realities of irregular migrants are far different from what we think they are.
Thierno Mamadou Barry
With CinemArena I learned a lot about the consequences of irregular migration. It is a very concrete and effective type of awareness raising. As a comedian, I also performed sketch comedies on this topic, which further helped inform the communities.
Diongue Coumba Sarr
The debates were very constructive because they gave voice to the communities, bringing together at the same time members of all ages, including returnees who gave testimonies. The chosen channel is also an accessible and playful tool that evokes emotional intelligence.
Alpha Oumar Barry
As the head of the Counselling and Orientation Centre for Young People (CECOJE), the experience with the CinemArena caravan allowed us to give awareness-raising and informational activities addressed to the young people and to the communities we serve, on the dangers of irregular migration.
The two tours in Côte d'Ivoire with CinemArena in which I participated were great experience. CinemArena really allows local populations to become aware of the different obstacles, through images, of irregular migration. We hope to see the caravan and its team in Côte d'Ivoire again soon!
As a returnee, I had the chance to interact with other families whose children have embarked on irregular migratory routes. I took this opportunity to share my story with them and talked to the youth about the realities and risks of the journeys. I am glad their responses were positive.
CinemArena allowed me to understand migration from a less occidental perception, to discuss with potential migrants their choices and see in their eyes disappointment - faced while discovering the dangers of irregular migration - but also willingness to engage locally.
Fatoumata Oury Balde
Through the CinemArena caravan, I strengthened my awareness and knowledge on irregular migration. In addition, I spoke to the audience to convey messages about the dangers of this phenomenon. As an artist-poet, it was a very interesting and enriching experience.
With the CinemArena caravan we arrived to, the lesser known, heart of Africa. We learnt of the reasons leading to irregular migration and informed the local populations about the risks involved.
Rarely, in a lifetime, do you have the chance, and the luck, to be part of something unique, unrepeatable and life changing. I had this privilege: to become part of an incredible project like CinemArena. For this, I will be forever grateful.
Paulette De Gonzague
CinemArena has enabled thousands of people to open their eyes to often unknown truths and become aware that irregular migration is a perilous journey. Some people even decided to cancel their plans to leave. Thanks to the determination and solidarity of the team, CinemArena has made it possible to avoid the worst!
It was a wonderful experience that got me closer to the local communities. This is a unique experience in which the night falls, the only lights are those of CinemArena, and those looks that remain indelibly impressed on our memory.
There have been so many great moments with the CinemArena caravan that I find it hard to choose just one... But, what has stayed with me most strongly remain the testimonials of the people.
When the magic of the cinema becomes a tool to bring information that can save lives, whether it takes places in a remote village in Gambia, Senegal or the Ivory Coast, that is where we find the bright screen of CinemArena.
I believe that knowledge and information are man's greatest riches, they allow him to broaden his horizons. For years, CinemArena has succeeded in raising awareness under the starry African sky, among thousands of people, through the most revolutionary tool of the last century: the cinema.
Laura di Castro
CinemArena transforms squares, alleys, football grounds and markets into places to share ideas and experiences on migration tragic stories, but also on stories of hope, that deeply touch women and men of all ages.
The magic of the cinema experienced under the stars, with hundreds of people, is a great emotion! If we add this to the satisfaction of witnessing the effectiveness of this medium in transmitting important information with unique simplicity ... here is "CinemArena"!
Filippo & Beppe Tenti
I felt involved in every single event thanks to the enthusiasm and the testimonies of the people participating. Informing communities about how important it is to feel part of their own change makes us feel part of their progress too.
Amadou Laly Traoré (Lalypop)
The songs I sing now were inspired by my journey. Now that I'm back, I know people who still want to leave. When we advise them, we tell them that all the people who have returned say: "if I had known, I wouldn't have gone", that's what inspired me to write.
The CinemArena expedition in Ivory Coast was an intense and enriching experience. The campaign wouldn't have gone so well without the amazing team of locals and foreigners who got together with the common goal of sharing a message of hope and of positive change for the future.
Each gathering was enriching, because, while it is true that CinemArena's mission is to deliver a message, it is also essential to know how to listen properly and to receive the response of people who experience every day certain problems.