Prisoners are seen during a concert named 'Freedom wind' which is organized by a non-governmental organisation, African Culture with a participation of guards and prisoners at the prison yard in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 27, 2016. Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Society Burkina Faso2. August 2020

Thanks to This Charity, Prisoners Spend Their Jail Time Writing Plays and Making Music

A charity in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, is helping prisoners find revitalization through art – teaching them to sing, dance or write plays, while also organizing music competitions and theatrical performances they can partake in.

The charity, African Culture, has spent a decade supporting prisoners through music and art to help give them a smoother fresh start upon their release. According to psychologist Melodie Safieddine, the arts give “inmates the opportunity to express themselves, to help build resilience and trust”.

One example of a prisoner who’s found solace through the charity is Roland Tapsoba, an ex-estate agent convicted of fraud, who learned to play the guitar in jail. Three years into his sentence, he won a music competition that led to an album deal and a music video – that he produced in prison!

The Economist

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