Terre Ceinte, by Aristide Tarnagda
In Terre Ceinte, director Aristide Tarnagda adapts the novel by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr for the stage. With passionate dedication, he explores terrorist violence and its consequences for a town that dares to resist.
An author in search of universality
Aristide Tarnagda was born in Burkina Faso in 1983. After studying sociology at the University of Ouagadougou, he became an actor then tried his hand at directing. He met writer Koffi Kwahulé at the Récréâtrales Festival in 2004, who helped him to put writing at the heart of his projects. The author has since created 20 or so pieces, crafting stories about his country and its reality. With this in mind, he thinks up characters asking themselves universal questions to make them accessible to everyone. Awarded the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire in 2017, today he regularly collaborates with director Marie-Pierre Bésanger.
The history of a resistance
An adaptation of the novel by author Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, Terre Ceinte takes place in the town of Kalep. One morning, the residents find themselves in the hands of the Brotherhood, a radical Islamist organisation. The director shows the execution of two young people who were in a romantic relationship and how rebellion grows among the population. He explores the connection that is soon established between these two young people’s mothers, as well as the creation of a newspaper recounting the violence they experience. On stage, the play is built around the character of Malamine, played by Noël Minoungou, the town surgeon who leads the resistance group.
A vision of terror
The play takes up the original’s places and themes. It embodies, on stage, the author’s musings on the effects of terrorism and the trapped protagonists’ daily life. Aristide Tarnagda chose to adapt it in a contemporary setting to better evoke the violence of oppression and different ways of living one’s religion. The director also focuses on two female characters, the mothers confronted with horror. Terre Ceinte, in its hunger for answers, draws a parallel between the ideals of courage and heroism, measuring them against cowardice and terror. In stirring up these major issues, the play speaks to a here and now that aims to make the fight against obscurantism the focus of debate.
A success on the road to Europe
Between March and April 2021, Terre Ceinte was performed during the Récréâtrales theatre season in Bougsoumtenga, in the heart of the Goughin neighbourhood of Ouagadougou. It was also staged at the Ouagadougou Institut français and at the Kadiogo military academy. The play was a major success, acclaimed by public and press alike, and drew big crowds around the theatre. Director Aristide Tarnagda now wants to help it travel beyond its borders and plans performances in France and Belgium.
Last year, Aristide Tarnagda answered our questions as sector expert for the Africa2020 Season.
Artistide Tarnagda is laureate of the "Des mots à la scène" fund and of the AWA programme.
Funded by the Ministry of Culture and launched by the Institut français, the "Des mots à la scène" fund aims to promote authors from the south who are little known or played.
The AWA programme is implemented by a consortium formed by the Institut français and the Kôrè Cultural Center in Ségou (Mali). This programme supports creative and cultural industries in West Africa.