Movies in Wonderland Dialogue #2 – The Siren of Faso Fani

Posted on: 14th June 2021

Movies in Wonderland Dialogue #2

Location: online / ACASA Triennale

A movies in wonderland – dialogue with Michel K. Zongo, director of “The Siren of Faso Fani.

movies in wonderland hosts an exhibition booth at this year´s ACASA Triennale, an event by the Arts Council for the African Studies Association. Amongst a series of exhibitions by the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, or the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, movies in wonderland presents a screening of “The Siren of Faso Fani” between June 16 and June 20th, as part of a movies in wonderland dialogue with the filmmaker Michel K. Zongo, in which he discusses the former textile factory of Faso Fani and how women today are keeping textile production alive and develop it further in small cooperatives in Burkina Faso.

The Siren of Faso Fani. D: Michel K. Zongo, 89 min., FR/BF/GER/QAT 2015, Original version with engl. subtitles

For a long time, Koudougou was considered the textile city of Burkina Faso, and due to the presence of a factory: Faso Fani, which means “The loincloth of the country”. The whole town woke up in the morning to the sound of Faso Fani’s siren. I was born and raised in this city. The factory was very important in my childhood. Faso Fani was the project of a nation and a strong signal of independence. A magnificent bet which quickly proved its worth: the loincloths were of high quality and their reputation extended far beyond the borders of Burkina Faso. A pride for our city. But the factory closed in 2001 following several restructuring plans imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. Hundreds of employees suddenly found themselves unemployed. More than 10 years later, I am going to meet the ex-employees of Faso Fani to reveal the disastrous consequences of a global economic policy blind to local realities, that of Koudougou. On my way, I also meet the weavers who stubbornly perpetuate the artisanal manufacture of loincloths. All together, we dream of seeing the cotton industry reborn in our city, and in our country. (Michel K. Zongo via

Filmtrailer “The Siren of Faso Fani.”

Michel K. Zongo, director of “The Siren of Faso Fani.”

Born in Koudougou in Burkina Faso, Michel K. Zongo is a director, producer and cameraman. After several positions as director of photography and assistant director for various films, he wrote and directed his first documentary, “Sibi, the soul of the violin”. Then came “Hope Travel”, “The Siren of Faso Fani” and “No gold for Kalsaka”. After training as a producer at Cinédoc in France in 2010, he became co-manager of the production company Diam based in Burkina Faso.

Michel K. Zongo is artistic director of the KoudougouDoc festival, and author of ten feature and short documentaries.

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