Yaya Sanou

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Art for AllBurkina Faso

Yaya Sanou is a dancer, choreographer, and singer. He began his artistic career in 1998 in the group Turbo Star with which he won several trophies in the urban dance competition. Designated as a certified dance teacher in 2019 by the Ecole des Sables du Sénégal, he has also benefited from training courses in contemporary dance and theater with choreographers and directors from Burkina Faso (Salia Sanou, Seydou Boro, Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Irène Tasanbedou), the United States (Olivier and Esther Tarpaga), France (Jessica Henou), and Switzerland (Nicol Seiler). To improve the living conditions of people with disabilities, he created the association Art Beyond Disability with his company FIENTAN, which makes many shows inside the country and abroad in 2016. He initiated the project NOUSSONDIA in 2018. In December 2021, he developed a choreographic creation and artistic learning laboratory in Bobo-Dioulasso called CULTUR LAB ADH.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Art for All

"Art for All" promoted accessibility to culture and the rights of people with disabilities through training workshops in dance, sign language and conferences on the rights of people with disabilities students in the Hauts-Bassins region and the city of Ouagadougou. The project featured workshops on traditional song and dance with high school and university students. Art for All promoted solidarity and respect between disabled and able-bodied people, bringing together over 1,000 participants in dance training workshops and conferences on the rights of marginalized people. The project also stimulated exchange, listening, and communication between people with hearing disabilities through the teaching of sign language to students, with more than 600 participants obtaining basic skills in sign language. Through art, the project uplifted people living with disabilities and called forth their potential and importance to society in Burkina Faso.

Yaya was also a panelist for the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel on “Promoting Social Change Through the Arts” which you can read more about here.

"Burkina Faso and the whole of Africa needs this kind of project, not only to raise people's awareness of what is happening in the rest of the world, but also to break down stereotypes about disability. That's how we can build a world without discrimination.” – Journalist

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Yaya was a participant in the IVLP Project Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities, organized by the U.S. Department of State and World Learning.

U.S. Communities Visited

Little Rock, AK; Washington, DC; New York City NY; Tulsa, OK

Country: Burkina Faso 

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