Collaborative research requires shared interest and trust. I don’t think many people might be particularly interested in the river nomads of the Niger river. It is much too exotic, singular and narrow.
Somehow such project would look very much as a classic socio-anthropological project.
For sure, the Kebbawa nomadic fishermen are exotic others, even in Niger and Mali. And this window on the universe of the Kebbawa nomadic fishermen is inasmuch a way to comprehend their specific way of life and identities (exotism as strangeness) as it is about the broader issues of mobility and citizenship (exotic but identical, otherness and strangerhood) in a world increasingly dominated by the hegemonic project of nation-states (nationality, nationalism). I believe that this website can be useful for many users interested in people on the move and the processes of in/ex-clusion of strangers in host societies. Ultimately, the content of this website revolves around the concept of citizenship, i.e. how people define themselves, how they belong in political communities (not only the nation-state), how they interact with authorities in order to access to resources.
Sharing knowledge, information, emotions is not only beneficial to both the giver and the receiver but also a fruitful process that might lead us to a better understanding of the various issues at stake in this field. The ideas and information contained in this website cannot be stolen. It is a present for the future. In that sense, this project is a prolongation of Jean Rouch’s idea of “shared anthropology” in which anthropologists work with “participants” (here, various kebbawa individuals from Garidji) rather than on “subjects”. Shared anthropology is also a vocation to build bridge between scientific knowledge produced by anthropologists and the general public.
The process of academic knowledge production is most often a black-box, at least to lay audiences. We all know that the validity of what is produced depends on the ways it has been produced. But academic writing gives little space to know more than a paragraph about the how academic knowledge is actually produced.
Films are constructed as stories. It is an arte fact, an arbitrary reconstruction of the reality as we see it. To make this story coherent, I needed to left apart a number of facts, precious information, because they couldn’t fit into the story I wanted to tell.
It doesn’t mean that they are not worth.
In this section, the reader will find what the camera was able to seize and what I decided not to include into the movie. This is a space to be explored.
Do you find that the story told by the master of the river was too short? Give a try and view the whole interview. That is what this section of the website is made for.
This menu allows the viewer to watch the video-recorded interviews (ITV) that have not been selected for the final movie. The interviews are conducted either in Hausa (a lingua franca in West Africa, especially for trade) or in Zarma (also written Djerma. Dendi and Songhay are two variants of Zarma). The content of the interviews is translated in English and French below the video.
All interviewed persons have given their consent. In some cases, the content has been censured in order to protect the informants.