Sous l'Arbre Acoustik gives artistic and cultural workshops to schools, international students, and organizations. The workshop program includes a concert, and workshops in African dance, African drumming, Senegalese musical philosophy and Senegalese cuisine. They have experience in youth engagement in Senegal where they teach about equity and critical thinking and personal development through music.
This exchange offers an alternative perspective to the often negative portrayals of Africa and Africans in the media. It provides an opportunity for engagement and interaction with Senegalese musicians as a way to break down some of the negative stereotypes that the media perpetuates. When we define African people and countries by negative stereotypes we perpetuate racism and essentialize ideas that Africa is only a place of suffering and a homogenous place. The mass media, which fuels our ignorance about Africa, creates misunderstandings between people and cultures. An additional goal of this project is to inspire students to consider studying abroad on the continent. This project provides intercultural connections, and through workshops, dancing, discussions, sharing Senegalese meals, drinking tea and playing with musicians, students have the opportunity to bridge cross-cultural gaps.
Sous l’Arbre Acoustik exposes students to a way of living that is centered on community and collectivism. The group’s music and outreach activities focus on creating cultures of sharing, positive mentalities, and happiness. This unique philosophy can offer opportunities to explore cultural and musical strategies for creating well being. Through their motto, à l’aise (at ease), and their various workshops, they bring what they call an “African ambiance” while promoting the value of community and the arts.
Activities and workshops vary depending on the needs of the school / organization.