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From poetry to action

Training courses organised by the EKAR

Training courses organised by the EKAR

Recognized training courses in the art of kasàlà are now organized by the École du kasàlà de The Ecole du kasàlà de Rimouski (EKAR – School of Kasàlà at Rimouski) offers different types of activities that allow you to discover contemporary kasàlà (ck), a practice inspired by the oral literature of sub-Saharan Africa, and to make the most of it.

  • awareness-raising workshops
  • introductory and advanced workshops
  • training in facilitation
  • train-the-trainer courses
  • meetings in communities of practice
  • conferences

The languages of instruction are French, English and Dutch, depending on the audience. In special cases, Kiswahili, Ciluba and Wolof are also used.

The training courses are mainly given online. However, face-to-face training is also possible at various locations in Europe, Africa and North America.

Consult the calendar for the activities of Winter and Spring 2023: Programmation EKAR 2023 (update on 21 December 2022). The times are indicated according to the time zone (FH) of Quebec (UTC-4) and the cost in Canadian dollars (CAD).

Regarding payment, please get in touch with kabuta.jean@gmail.com

Registrations and information, get in touch with formation@kasalaction.org (Andrée Déry and Annick Hernandez)

Phone: +1 418 7304602


1. Awareness raising for children, AC (1 to 3 hours)
Awareness-raising workshops on kasàlà are offered to the adult public and others are offered to children.
For children in primary school or pre-school, awareness-raising is mainly done through kasàlàstorytelling.
The goals pursued at this level are as follows

  • To name themselves and others, using adjectives or demonstrative phrases such as “She who likes to help others” or “He who talks to animals”;
  • To situate themselves in their family and in their environment;
  • To be open to diversity;
  • Create with joy.

At this level, the children succeed in composing, orally or in writing according to the level and age, a mini-kasàlà or a kasàlà, which they recite, standing up, in front of their classmates.
Depending on the cycle and age, these workshops last between 1 and 3 hours. If necessary, other sessions of the same duration are organised.

2. Awareness raising for youth and adults, AY (1-2 hours)
Awareness raising for young people and adults is often done in the form of lectures. On request or on the initiative of EKAR, kasàlà practitioners offer awareness-raising lectures that allow the public to learn about the history of ck and the possibilities it offers on a community and individual level. During a lecture, participants are often asked to create some names of strength for themselves or others. These lectures usually prepare for participation in an introductory workshop.

1. Basic level (BL): from 1 to 4 half days (a half day = 1 to 4 hours)
During this workshop, we will be immersed in the universe of kasàlà. This poetic practice of joy is written, spoken, listened to, tasted and lived. It allows us to have a transforming experience that propels us on our path. It leads to a place that is both inside and outside of oneself, of the other, of the truth that inhabits them and that transcends us all. It is the art of celebrating life, whether it is simply to start our day or to celebrate a birthday. It is also the ritualisation of the great transitions of life (birth, graduation, mourning, etc.). We honour the past, the present and open ourselves to what is to come. In the workshop we will experience, among other things, the kasàlà of the other and the kasàlà of the self. We will learn not only to write the poem, but also to recite it in such a way that we can feel the vibrations of our voices in our body and encourage resonance in others. Participants will come closer to themselves and to others. The introductory workshop is for everyone. The workshop is designed for everyone and teaches how to become a kasàlà practitioner. The following aspects, among others, will be presented:

  1. Listening to and reading kasàlàs
  2. Kasàlà as a world view
  3. The content and aim of the kasàlà through: the relationship to the other, the relationship to oneself, the relationship to the world and to nature
  4. The ubuntu as a philosophy underlying kasàlà
  5. What is meant by celebration, wonder, gratitude
  6. Ingredients of kasàlà
  7. The strong name
  8. Elementary figures of speech (metaphor, hyperbole, parataxis, ellipsis, humour…)
  9. Elementary structure of a kasàlà
  10. Types of kasàlà
  11. The kasàlà as a ritual and ceremonial practice
  12. Rhythm
  13. Exchange on the lived experience
  14. Spontaneous creation on stage
  15. Creation in the moment of speaking
  16. Echo
  17. Boomerang Kasàlà
  18. Collective Kasàlà (performed by all participants)
  19. Exercises (writing kasàlàs: kasàlà of the other and kasàlà of oneself; kasàlà of nature, of a concept…)
  20. Writing and proclamation exercises

Advanced level (AL): thematic workshops, in 4 half-days

  • The advanced workshops are intended primarily for people who have taken the BL workshop. These workshops are led by any certified person.
  • Theoretical knowledge and practice of kasàlà are enriched. In order to do so, one explores and experiments with particular themes, chosen among the following ones:
  1. Intimate discourse
  2. Technical aspects of proclamation
  3. Kasàlà of the long haul
  4. Aspects of traditional Kasàlà
  5. Self-deprecation
  6. Kasàlà of the enemy
  7. Kasàlà of vital anger (usually political kasàlà) Ex. BLM
  8. Advanced figures of speech
  9. Kasàlà-balance sheet
  10. Mosaic Kasàlà
  11. Inscription in the lineage, the territory, the environment (e.g. Kasàlà of Rimouski) and history
  12. Constraint (typographic, rhythmic…)
  13. Proclamation technique
  14. Kasàlà and movement
  15. Writing exercises
  16. Kasàlà in chains

The Laboratory is a space for experimentation and training accessible to all.

  • We practice improvisation, spontaneous creation and other ways of doing things.
  • It also explores traditional genres such as the akö from Benin, the kasàlà of the foetus in Burkina Faso, the staging of texts, and the apprentices make presentations on various subjects.
  • See table in the Agenda for the presentations planned for 2022.

This particular module allows you to become familiar with the kasàlà that accompanies life’s transitions (birth, marriage, birthday, retirement, special anniversaries, death, etc.) and whose creation requires a considerable investment in terms of energy and time. Sometimes it is necessary to document the event in order to better enter the world of the person being celebrated. In all cases, it is important to be open-minded. Whenever possible, there is nothing like hearing and even seeing people talk about the person for whom you want to make a kasàlà.

The emphasis, however, will be on the kasàlà of mourning, because of the crucial role that death plays in each of our lives. When the person concerned is not known, Kasàlà of the long haul usually requires prior enquiry with the person’s family and friends. In addition, and this applies whether or not we know the person, we need to search for information – and the Internet is precious for this! – to situate the person both historically and territorially, and sometimes even philosophically. In the mass of information that can be gathered, the art is to find the most relevant and to use it to honour the person. To create an interesting kasàlà that not only honours the deceased but also comforts and celebrates the survivors, it is a matter of finding the right words that can move and give hope. It is about proclaiming the victory of life over death, so that at the end of the mourning ritual, everyone leaves feeling alive and strengthened.
The KLH module lasts 32 hours, divided into 8 meetings of 4 hours each. The whole training can take 6 to 8 weeks.

Content :

  • The person as a fundamental value of ubuntu
  • Concept of death in different cultures (West, East, Aboriginal, Africa…)
  • Concept of death in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism…
  • Putting oneself aside to better perceive the other
  • Analysis of kasàlàs of the long haul
  • Data processing
  • The questionnaire
  • Collective Kasàlà
  • Signature (evidently very discreet in the mourning kasàlà!)
  • The mourning kasàlà as a poetic biography, as a kasàlà-balance sheet, but always positive, albeit realistic (in no case will it be a judgement, that is reserved for the Good Lord!)
  • Treatment of the biography (career, etc.)
  • Particularities of the kasàlàs of: birth, birthday, marriage, bereavement, retirement, mourning…
  • Commemoration of x years of an institution

Methodology (alternating theory and practice) :

  • Accompanied reflection on the key moments and phases of life
  • Listening to illustrative examples of this type of kasàlà
  • Guidance on the creation process: data collection and management, structure of the kasàlà (introduction, development, end)
  • Sharing of preparatory work and intermediate creations
  • At the end, proclamation by each person of their Kasàlà


The training courses are subject to certification by EKAR. There are two levels of training:

1° Training to run awareness workshops (AC and AY) and initiation workshops (IW)

2° Training to train facilitators of AC, AY and IW workshops

The holder of a certification acquires the right: 1° to teach kasàlà online or in person, 2° to join Kasàlaction.

  1. At the first level, 3 components are proposed (levels AB, AI and AA) with a total duration of 91 hours. They prepare the future certified practitioner to acquire the competences detailed in the grid below.
  2. This training includes an internship of a duration equivalent to at least 3 initiation workshops (i.e. 48h) and at least 2 facilitation workshops (i.e. 84h), with JK or another certified person. The course includes the activities detailed in the grid below.
    If the order of seniority intervenes in certain cases – to be specified -, it does not intervene in the allocation of internships to apprentices
  3. The certified facilitator is expected to be serve the community, to be creative and, in particular, to:
    1. Be able to raise awareness of kasàlà through kasàlà storytelling for youth or lectures for adults
    2. To welcome trainees in his/her workshops to raise awareness or to initiate apprentices in the process of certification
    3. To practice kasàlà in a ceremonial and ritual context (life, birth, marriage, mourning…)
    4. To be able to accompany people who wish to write a simple Kasàlà
    5. To spread the practice of Kasàlà
  4. At the second level, the FF level, holders of a 1st level certification learn to run workshops for future facilitators
  5. Within EKAR, no fees are charged for any workshop intervention by an apprentice. External guest speakers are paid $50 per hour, deducted from the registration fee.


  1. Animation – Basic level, AB (42 h)
    • Review of the fundamental notions: formula of contemporary kasàlà
    • Notions of African philosophy: conception of the person and the world (mythology, epic, ubuntu, animism…)
    • Animation techniques
    • Animation exercises
  2. Animation – Intermediate level, AI(28 h)
    • Elements of oral traditions (motto, parable, myth, epic, symbol…), Kabuta 2003, epitaph, animation exercises, etc.
    • From the rope of proverbs to the rope of kasàlàs
    • From poetry to action
    • Self-confidence and self-esteem
    • From traditional panegyrics to contemporary kasàlàs
  3. Animation – Advanced Level, AA(21 hrs)
    • Multipurpose Orientation (MO) :
      Symbolic and poetic practices, enunciation, reading Jung and the question of the sacred, Misrahi and joy, Kabuta 2010, poetic autobiography, complex kasàlà, animation in schools, kasàlà-storytelling, from the proverbial rope to the kasàlà rope, animation exercises, etc.
    • Youth orientation (YO):
      This orientation is aimed at people who want to specialise in workshop facilitation for young people. The emphasis is on storytelling, staging and acting. The proverbial rope. Aspects of child psychology. Workshop.


  1. Training of trainers, FF (42 hours)
    The training of trainers is the final stage of our training, where we teach others to become facilitators. The trainer is expected to embody his or her teaching and to make the art of being human a life posture. This is the horizon towards which the kasàlà constantly invites us to walk.

    • Deploying one’s own style, one’s own genius, one’s own uniqueness
    • Develop flexibility, creativity, openness, decentering, autonomy…
    • Become familiar with a symbolic and poetic approach
    • Cultivate generosity, hospitality, fraternity, living together… In other words, strive to put ubuntu into practice within the Kasàlà community and elsewhere
    • Living or striving to live in the practice of joy
    • Knowing how to stand aside, to let the Other pass
    • Knowing how to stop, so that your soul can join you
    • Make your home an ibuntu (place where AEH unfolds)