January 21, 2021

African film women break the silence | Society

African film women break the silence | Society

The Burkinese actress Azata Soro, marked by a scar on his face, has exploded during this latest edition of the African Oscars. "I could not shut up anymore." The continent's reference film festival, Fespaco (Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou) celebrated its 50th anniversary in style. And his aggressor, the renowned director who disfigured her, presented his series without blinking The throne in competition. It was not calculated or foreseen, "but, suddenly, I found myself in this room, full of actresses, filmmakers, producers and women of the sector, where cases were reported without mentioning names, and I thought that if we did not point out the aggressors this would never go to finish ", confides EL PAÍS the actress. "And I pronounced his name: Tahirou Tasséré Ouedraogo." Uncle Tahirou (so they call the influent director) not only broke a bottle and attacked Soro in the middle of shooting The throne, leaving a trail still visible today, but "has been abusing girls for years who aspire to be actresses."

"Why are we the ones who are afraid and ashamed?" Soro asks with a broken voice. "My friends told me that they do not talk about that," says Soro, but I could not take it anymore. This has to stop. "Soro confesses that he does not know where the courage came from, but its value, together with the testimony of the also Senegalese franc actress Nadège Beausson-Diagne (who broke 18 years of silence the same day in the same room) It has already had consequences. The throne It has been deprogrammed from the French channel TV5 Monde, which had planned to start broadcasting it at the end of March and as a result of its testimony, a new movement of support and denunciation has been born. In the line of #MeToo, a platform has emerged that embraces women in the African film industry: it is the #memepaspeur, which means "not even afraid" and that, beyond a hastag "it unites us, it makes us feel stronger".

The silence that guarantees the aggressors

When Tahirou attacked Soro in full film, he asked that no one help her. "Only two actresses ignored his order," recalls the Burkinabe actress. "One stopped the bleeding, and, with the help of the other, they took me to the hospital." Both were fired and on the set, the filming resumed "as if nothing had happened." Soro trusts that now she feels liberated, "I know that the pain will not disappear and that this will not change overnight, but at least we are acting to change it". Throughout the conversation, Soro maintains the "girls" front line. Those girls of 13 and 14 years who entrusted him, during the filming of another series, this child, that uncle Tahirou touched "and other horrible things." These girls who, after passing through Tahirou, have told her that they are afraid every time they go to a casting and they are in front of a man.

Younger brother of the legend of African cinema Idrissa Ouedraogo, Tahirou Tassere Ouedraogo, has been a very powerful man in the local and regional industry and he even received the United Nations Award for the Promotion of Women's Rights in the 2007 edition of this same festival.


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