Burkinabè Rising: the art of resistance in Burkina Faso

  • Burkinabè Rising: the art of resistance in Burkina Faso
Genre : Political
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2017
Format : Feature
Running time : 71 (in minutes)

The documentary showcases inspiring nonviolent creative resistance in Burkina Faso!
A small, landlocked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso is home to a vibrant community of artists and engaged citizens, who provide an example of the type of political change that can be achieved when people come together. It is an inspiration, not only to the rest of Africa but also to the rest of the world.

Through music, film, ecology, visual art, and architecture, the people featured in this film are carrying on the revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara. After assuming the presidency in 1983, Sankara was killed in a 1987 coup d'état led by his friend and close advisor Blaise Compaoré, who subsequently ruled the country as an autocrat for twenty-seven years. In October 2014 a massive popular insurrection led to his removal. Today, the spirit of resistance is mightier than ever in Burkina Faso.

In the fall of 2016, director Iara Lee traveled throughout the country to film Burkinabè Rising. Through this journey, she met a remarkable cast of artists, musicians, and activists who are propelling forward the country's artistic traditions: Smockey, a rapper from Ouagadougou, the country's capital, infuses his lyrics with sharp political commentary. Marto, Burkina Faso's most well-known graffiti artist, turns barren city walls into colorful murals.

[Burkina Faso] In addition to these individual artists, Burkinabè Rising documents a festival of recycled art, where local artists display their work. It travels to Bobo-Dioulasso, the second-largest city, to capture the traditional Sudano-Sahelian architecture of the Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque, which dates back to the nineteenth century. It visits a community garden in Bingo, a town in the northern part of the country. The film shows how the resurgent Burkinabè pursuit of peace and justice manifests itself through art, permeating every aspect of daily life.

A film by Iara Lee

Burkina Faso / USA / Bulgaria, 2017, documentary, 1h 11mins 37s

Original Version in French, English, Moore, with Subtitles
Country of Production: Burkina Faso/USA/Bulgaria
Date of Production: November 2017
Original Format: HDV
Running Time: 71:37
Number of Tapes/Discs: 1
Black and White or Color: Color
Screen Format: 2.35; DVD; Quicktime file: HD 1080p 25fps
Sound: Stereo
Genre: Documentary
Themes: Burkina Faso, arts, culture, agroecology, resistance, Thomas Sankara

Directed by Iara Lee

Production : Cultures of Resistance Films


2 files


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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