Alicia Soto travels to Senegal to complete production and premiere the show 'Peur de la couleur'.

From March 31 to April 9, the third, and final cycle, of the preparation and rehearsals of the company's new production will culminate. Alicia Soto Hojarasca with the company. Djarama, directed by Mamby Mawine. Thanks to the fundamental and constant support of the Spanish Embassy in Senegal, Peur de la couleur (Fear of color) It will finally be premiered this April, on the 10th and 11th, at the International Puppet Festival of Senegal, and then exhibited at the French Institute of Dakar on the 13th. 

The relationship between the Djarama association and company, directed by Mamby Mawine, and Alicia Soto began in 2018 and has continued to this day. The new show is developed within the Goongué project that is part of the Yaakaar program, aimed at young people in social exclusion and that develops different training in the arts: dance, theater, circus and puppetry. Goongué seeks to support young artists towards their professionalization, in order to support young creation in Senegal.

Both the preparation of the show and the rehearsals prior to the premiere take place at Pôle Culturel Djarama'Arts, Center d'art pour la jeunesse de Ndayane (art center for the youth of Ndayane).

Peur de la couleur (The fear of color) is a puppet and dance production with live music aimed at children ages 8 to 14. It will star four Senegalese performers who come from the Goongué project. The work tells us how a black woman from a modest family gives birth to a girl with albinism. From there, he must confront widespread beliefs about albinos. He is afraid of losing his son who, on the one hand, is rejected by society, and on the other hand, attracts people who will do anything to sacrifice him. Despite everything, the child grows up facing all difficulties.



This proposal addresses the issue of albino children in Africa and especially in Senegal, where they are socially excluded and eliminated in a very dramatic way in some communities. Its germ, says Mamby Mawine, is her own personal experience because her daughter Ramata was born with albinism "and grew up in a society in which people like her are discriminated against and marginalized for being different. Ramata is lucky to be surrounded by a family that has allowed her to do all kinds of activities... However, many children like her live in much less favorable conditions. In Senegal, for example, there are women who push their albino children to beg for alms every day under the sun, completely ignoring the disastrous effects of the sun on their skin. Albino women are also raped due to certain beliefs that promote the idea that having sexual relations with them brings wealth. During the electoral period in Senegal, many families with albino children have to hide them for fear of being kidnapped for sacrifice. In other African countries, albinos are expelled from villages or cut into pieces and sold on the market to be used as amulets. With this show, we want to show how even supposedly “normal” people can be cruel towards those with disabilities or considered different.



The choice to use masks and puppets to tell this story It is mainly due to its sacred and ritual dimension. «Puppets offer possibilities of representation that cannot be achieved with realism alone. We have chosen not to use text, but to let the body speak through movement,” says Mawine. «Although the theme is hard, and the research on the topic helped us to build a dramaturgy, we decided to present the work as a fable, full of poetry, where the puppets help us recreate fantastic characters. The masks, the comedy of art, give us a pinch of humor, and the body, the dance, tells us the story from emotion, because our story speaks of fear and love," concludes Alicia Soto.



The cast Seynabou Faye, Adama Cissé and Pape Baidy Diao were part of a group of around twenty girls and boys who benefited from the “Yaakaar” training program, which means hope in Wolof. As its name suggests, this program aimed to restore hope to youth. It offered them training in the arts (puppetry, circus, dance and theater) through the intervention of professionals in all these disciplines. Alicia Soto intervened several times for dance training. Adrame Bangoura, a Guinean circus artist, also participated with the young people within the framework of this training and subsequently joined the company created at the end of the Yaak'Art program.



Dramaturgy and choreography: Alicia Soto

Dramaturgy and direction of actors: Mamby Mawine

Performers: Adama Cisse, Adramé Bangoura, Seynabou Faye and Pape Baydi Diaw (cie Yaak'Art – Sénégal)



April 10 and 11 premiere. 2 performances at the International Puppet Festival of
April 13th. French Institute of Dakar (Senegal).

From May:

– Alliance Française de Banjul (Gambia)
– Center culturel Franco-Bissau-Guinéense (Guinea-Bissau)
– French Institute of St Louis (Senegal)


This production has the support of the Spanish Embassy in Senegal and the French Institute of Senegal.


A production of Djarama y la Cía. Alicia Soto-Leaf Litter