Sleepless nights
in ouagadougou


The Burkinabé people decides its destiny and rises up, the political regime that has been in power for nearly 30 years collapses. The revolution is there, omnipresent, in the electrified bodies of the dancers, in the raised fist rap by Smockey, in the hope of the street, in the premonition of an artist who dreamt this play two years beforehand. Combats, suffering, humiliation and hardships find their release in the will to live and the urgency to speak out and recapture the voices.

Reality and fiction meet in a fusion that scrambles barriers and breaks down distances. An incomparable power is born as a result which reconciles and brings a glimmer of real change and hope. Even if the edifice is weak, it is of no importance, for “no matter how long the night, the day will appear”.

« Sometimes we say to ourselves that what we do as artists is futile. We ask ourselves if it is any use, if people listen, if they understand. Here we could immediately feel the impact that it had. » Smockey
Serge Bambara, Smockey, is a Burkinabé rapper who makes no concessions. His texts in opposition to Blaise Compaoré’s regime resulted in his being threatened and censorsed.

With Sams’k le Jah, reggae singer, he created the Balai Citoyen (the Citizen’s Broom), a civil society movement which in 2014 led to the regime’s fall. A regime that had been in power for too long. They achieved this by shaking up the conscience on the streets and in actively mobilising the youth of the country.

On the 18th May 2017 he received the Gwangyu Prize for Human Rights 2016, for his engagement in the struggle for the respect of human rights.


Interpreters: Marion Alzieu, Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Adonis Nébié, Sayouba Sigué, Smockey

Musician: Sibi Zongo