Opinion | The Life of an Ambassador’s Wife

In Burkina Faso, a diplomatic spouse
spends her days within the boundaries of the embassy.

In Burkina Faso, a diplomatic
spouse spends her days within the
boundaries of the embassy.

null

Supported by

Send any friend a story

As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

By Theresa Traore Dahlberg

Ms. Traore Dahlberg is a filmmaker.

When I was filming my first feature film, “Ouaga Girls,” in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 2015, I was introduced to the French ambassador’s wife. She asked me to film her singing opera, but as I walked into the opulent gardens of the ambassador’s residence, I asked if I could follow her in her daily life instead.

As the child of a Burkinabé father and Swedish mother, I spent my childhood traveling between Burkina Faso and Sweden. During the making of this film, I had a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings. Walking down the aisle of perfectly manicured trees at the residency, I was reminded of the stories my grandmother used to tell me about when Burkina Faso was a French colony.

The short documentary above explores the complex and overlapping power dynamics of class, women’s roles and post-colonialism by holding a magnifying glass to the life of an ambassador’s wife, both protected and isolated by the residence walls.

Theresa Traore Dahlberg is a visual artist and filmmaker.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here's our email: [email protected].

Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries by independent filmmakers. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Site Information Navigation

Source: Read Full Article