Abandoned: traditional festival of male beauty in Niger

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04/23/2019

Festival in Niamey, Niger, has promoted traditional men’s fashion, local couturiers’ skills and masculine beauty. It has also been a place for social minorities and artists in the Central Sahel region to express themselves and to display their talent for creative, artistic fashion. The fifth Arou Sogha Festival was planned for this week (April 27) at the Centre Culturel Franco-Nigérien Jean Rouch (CCFN) in the Plateau district of the capital city, Niamey. In the past, Niger and the French embassy provided financial and logistical support for the festival. But not this year. The festival organizer, Hamidou Mamane Noma, received a phone call from government authorities, saying that they will not provide the anticipated 4 million CFA francs (about U.S. $6,856) this year. There was no public explanation of that decision. Hamidou Mamane Noma says it has become increasingly difficult to find partners who are willing to be seen supporting such a festival.

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