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Meet Idrissa

Safeguarding oral histories in the Tegñusô Dogon language of the Bandiagara Escarpment.

The Dogon people, indigenous to the land southwest of the Niger River belt in Mali, are speakers of the Dogon languages. This is a small and closely-related language family spoken by about 600,000 people across its dozen languages. Linguists often classify these languages as separate but the Dogon consider themselves part of one, united ethnic group. Although it is the third most-spoken language in Mali, Dogon is only spoken by an estimated 6% of the population.

Idrissa Sagara is a language activist and ancestral speaker of Dogon living in Mali. Idrissa’s project focuses on recording the memory of ethnic conflict and terrorism of community members in a variety of the Dogon language called Tegñusô, spoken in the Bandiagara Escarpment in Dogon country. In addition to this archiving, Idrissa has his sights set on a dictionary of the variety, learning materials, and even autobiographies of the elders in the Dogon community as long-term goals for his project. Memories of elders in the Dogon community are invaluable in cultural and historical preservation.

Idrissa's Background

Idrissa Sagara is a 26-year old language activist and speaker. He was born and raised in the cliff of Bandiagara, Mali. He attended the University of Bamako in Mali where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Language Sciences in 2017 and a Master's degree in Languages and Communication in 2020. Since 2018, Idrissa has worked with private institutions teaching Field Survey, Language Teaching on Specific Objectives, Bilingual Literacy, Language Teacher in Private Institutions. He is now a temporary contractor at the University of Bamako where he teaches National Languages. Passionate about research on Languages and Cultures, Idrissa has his sights set on scholarships to pursue doctoral studies in the field of Psycholinguistics or Language Didactics.  Idrissa SAGARA est une activiste linguistique et une conférencière de 26 ans. Il est né et a grandi dans la falaise de Bandiagara/Mali jusqu’en 2014, l’année où il obtint son bac au lycée de Bandiagara. Après son BAC, il entre à l’Université de Bamako/Mali où il obtient le Diplôme de Licence en Sciences du Langage en 2017 puis, le diplôme de Master Langues et Communication en 2020. Parallèlement depuis 2018, M. SAGARA Intervient dans les activités comme Enquête de Terrain, Enseignement de Langues Sur Objectifs Spécifiques, Alphabétisation Bilingue, Prof de langues dans les établissement Privés. Il est maintenant Vacataire à l’Université de Bamako où il enseigne les Langues Nationales. Passionné de recherches sur les Langues et Cultures, Idrissa Sagara est aussi à la recherche de bourses pour poursuivre des études doctorales dans le domaine de Psycholinguistique ou de Didactique Des Langues.

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