The 5th Francophonie Sports and Arts Festival: Niamey, Niger Hosts a Global Community

by Scott M. Youngstedt


This¬†paper explores transnational and local cultural, political, and economic dimensions of the 5th Jeux de la Francophonie (“Francophonie Games” or “Francophonie Sports and Arts Festival”) held in Niamey, Niger in December 2005. The Jeux were designed to promote peace, solidarity, and cultural exchange through sports and the arts. This paper focuses on the kinds of discourses that were represented and celebrated in the social and political arena of the Jeux. It aims to contribute to the discussion of (1) the politics of Francophonie concept, (2) the negotiation of local and global politics in the context of major sports and arts events, and (3) the representation of local, national, and global politics in public ceremonies.

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Scott M. Youngstedt is a Professor of Anthropology at Saginaw Valley State University. His work in Niger explores the ways by which migrant Hausa create modernities, construct communities in diaspora, and negotiate personal identities in the context of neoliberal globalization. Youngstedt is examining similar dynamics in the new Nigerien diaspora in the U.S. He has also focused his attention on tourism and festivals in West and North Africa, considering issues such as cultural representation, authenticity, development, and intercultural communication.