Our project in Verkami


25/06/2012 por documentalenoussouye

Project description


GESA (Study Group of African Societies) is a research team of the University of Barcelona recognised by the Government of Catalonia and with a broad international prestige. This is the coordinator group of the inter-university network ARDA (Group for research and teaching about Africa), formed in 1997. This network visualizes a network of links between research and teaching on African societies that works since the 1990s, and is composed mainly by the Group of African Studies of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Africa Group of the University of Granada, the section Hegoa Africa in the EHU (University of the Basque country) and the Group of African Studies of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. These connections facilitate interdisciplinarity in all projects of the GESA, in which members of the other teams in the ARDA act as external collaborators.

The research lines that leads the GESA team had focused on transformations of African thought, both in historical times and during the independent states, as well as the interaction between traditional and democratic systems after the independence of the different countries. These research lines have been endorsed by different state projects which include Transboundary movement and construction of new citizenship practices in Africa and Europe. The collective works published by the GESA group highlight the miseries and disabilities of the modernizing paradigm to the South of the Sahara.

Ferran Iniesta is the Coordinator of GESA and it has been the principal investigator of the majority of the projects developed by the group so far. He has directed six research projects (1992-2005), three of them with foreign specialized centres. He has recognized three sections of research (1987-2004) by the National Commission of Evaluation of the Investigating Activity. With an unparalleled track record in Spain, he is the director of the project and exercises the guardianship on the investigation. On the other hand Jordi Tomàs, anthropologist of reference in the reality of the Casamance and member of the same group of research, brings his experience and his knowledge of the territory in his involvement in the project. The rest of the team is formed by young researchers of different disciplines who share the interest in Africa and the commitment to experiences that can involve a cultural enrichment.

For more than 30 years, there is a conflict installed in the South of Senegal, in the Casamance region (although the start date can always be nuanced and discussed). It’s one of those conflicts considered of low intensity, in which the number of victims do not reach a few established quantitative scales. However, this technical classification does not make less intense the pain, the terror and the disadvantages of those who suffer it.

Oussouye. Fotografía de Jordi Tomàs

In these three decades, the conflict in Casamance has seen all kinds of evolutions and in recent years there have been various movements aimed at the achievement of peace. Partial treaties have been signed, but the conflict has not been resolved yet. Despite this confusing and ambiguous situation, there is a territory which for almost ten years has not produced any episode of violence related with the confrontation between the independentist Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance (MFDC) and the Senegalese army. It is the Kingdom of Oussouye. The violence ceased immediately once the King was enthroned in this territory.

After years of research and field work in Casamance, we want to produce an audiovisual document that provides the tools for greater dissemination and understanding of the conflict, and explain the origin of a particular situation that comes up to our days.

We want to reflect the importance of tradition and traditional authorities in African societies, emphasizing that the traditional character does not constitute an obstacle to modernization. This project can mean a change of direction in implementing relevant traditional values and the leading role that can take the traditional authorities to act as fully valid partners in peace processes, for a definitive resolution of the conflict in Casamance.

A part of the team will be in Casamance, specifically in the kingdom of Oussouye, during the month of July, 2012, to complete the field work and organize the subsequent production period.

The shooting will take place in November, 2012 with the production team at Oussouye.

GESA has for this project a funding of € 9,600 donated by ICIP (Institut Català international per la Pau) through the AGAUR, Agency Management of University and Research.

We have ventured to this crowfounding experience because we need the extra amount of € 4,300 in order to cover the expenses of rent, insurance and transfer of video and audio material for the shooting in Senegal next november. This is essential to ensure the minimum quality that we have set ourselves.

If we overcome the economic objective of € 4,300, we have listed several items that we can improve in order to obtain a better result in the final product, since covering the team travel expenses to the subtitles, graphics, difussion, etc.

Your contribution and dissemination means a lot to us. Thank you!

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