Diawara’s film serves as a mirror to build an aesthetic and reflexive story, through song and dance, about the current yet timeless drama of migration between North and South, and the ongoing refugee crises. The film ponders the realities of cultural encounters through the concepts of métissage and hybridity. The success and limits of fusing African and European perspectives are tested by interlacing performances from the Bintou Were opera, past and present archival footage of migrations, classic European arias, and interviews with European and African intellectuals, artists and social activists–including Alexander Kluge, Fatou Diome, Nicole Lapierre and Richard Sennett. An opera of the world!
Wandering the shores of Lesbos, Diawara poses questions in the face of the sea, its myths, and media footage of mass migration… A Sahel Opera becomes a world opera, tragic in its tradition of the genre, but far from a dead end. Might we consider it moving in search of a better death?