Published February 25, 2019 by Bowdoin News

Don't We All Come from Somewhere?

Voyage without a Visa (Tukki saa suné) presents stories of African immigration, told by Senegalese storyteller, singer, and dancer Boubacar Ndiaye, with music and song by Baye Cheikh Mbaye and Pape N’diaye Paamath.

The poster for the event
This event will begin at 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Boubacar Ndiaye, originally of Senegal, has been recognized by the Mayor of Paris and the French Department of Education for his extraordinary contributions to raising awareness of the importance of oral traditions and educating students and adults.

In this show, he and fellow musicians Baye Cheikh Mbaye and Pape N’diaye Paamath share with audiences the dreams of youth to leave for a better world, like the swallows who fly toward new horizons to come back to their nests.

The performers tell immersive tales of the suffering of families, of women waiting for their husbands to return, of children who have left long ago. They question the place of happiness and the success of immigrants who risk their lives attempting the crossing. They invite us to realize the pain and isolation that leaving one’s homeland for exile can entail.

The artists sing of the beauties of Saint-Louis in Senegal and its surroundings. They transport the audience to Tivaouane to discover the art of storytelling, the importance of family, and the famous Senegalese teranga, or hospitality. Through music, they also communicate the love they feel for their adopted country.

When three carriers of collective memory are united on stage, Africa stands tall in its encounter with the West, dancing, but also denouncing: What does “without papers” mean? Don’t we all come from somewhere?

The visiting artists will be interacting with students from several courses in Francophone studies and history, as well as attending the Francophone language table on Wednesday night. 

Senegal music performersCourses involved:

  • Katherine Dauge-Roth’s “The Oral and the Written”
  • David Gordon’s “Africa and the Atlantic World”
  • Gerard Keubeung’s “African Diaspora in France”
  • Madeline Bedecarré’s “Contemporary France through the Media”

The event is free and open to the public.

It is sponsored by the Blythe Bikel Edwards Fund, the Africana Studies Program, and the Departments of History, Music, and Romance Languages and Literatures.