Human Rights Films and Arts Festival


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 FILMS 2012

The festival has opened with an homage to Camp Thiaroye, with the animated film L'Ami y a Bon by Rachid Bouchareb which remembers the massacre of the senegalese tiralleurs at the end of WWII, brutally repressed as they were demanding the promised pay for their committment in the french army. The inauguration evening dedicated also an homage to the father of senegalese cinema, Ousmane Sembene, who first has started to use the camera as an instrument for denounce and call for human rights. The first african short film, Borom Sarret was screened together with the film La Noire de... still incredibly contemporary in portraying the contrast between the dreams of the journey towards Europe and the reality of life once arrived between prejudices and failed recognition. The film was very emotionally received by the audience as it reflects a real story and the main protagonist portrayed in the film Dioanna was known in the community among the elders who remember her tragic journey towards the Cote Azur.  




Other films dedicated to the theme of migration in the festival were the premiere of La Pirogue by Moussa Tourè, presented this year in Cannes in the section Un Certain Regard and already pluri-awarded at international festivals. The film was screened in Thiaroye on saturday 8th december as a national premiere. A sort of african Titanic, the film is a important reflection on the human sacrifice that the young senegalese face to reach the dream of Europe, pushed by the lack of work and realisation here. The film was viewed by an audience of youth themselves too enchanted with the dream of taking the boat towards Europe: informal debate after the film revealed that the film viewing have been a real eye opening experiences. Especially as this was introduced a few nights before by Life in the City by Abdoulaye Gaye, that truly depicts what is the life of illegal migrant youths from Senegal in Italy, surviving with no documents through everyday difficulties sometimes even tempted by non legal means for survival. The issue of Barça ou Barsakh (the dream of Europe or death) was also addressed by a small theatre piece on the tragic loss of the son by a mother who discover he has drown in the sea during the passage.

Friday 7 december was instead dedicated to the children, with a conference – theatrical rappresentation on Talibe by the troupe teatral Daara Dunya of Thiaroye, which critically engaged with the trait and the exploitation of street children. The theatre group is an initiative created with the purpose of recuperation of Talibe children and associate performance and music for positively engage street children whilst critically addressing the conditions that brings the children on the street, as well as the abuses by whom take advantage of them. 

Children as well as environmental issues were addressed through the film Mbeubeus by Simona Risi, on the children who collect and recycle garbage from Mbeubeus, the biggest garbage dump of the banlieue. Youth and children recognised themselves in the film as many of them have either ‘worked’ or played in the surrounding.

Special events were also organised in collaboration with Puma.Creative, with the screening of  the short Films 4 Peace, beautiful interpretations through video-arts on peace and the environment by 11 artists of different parts of the world and with the Brasilian Embassy in Dakar, which has brought to the festival the afro-brasilian drumming of Sambaobab and the film Favela Rising, on the power of the afro-reggae music as a form of resistance against violence and drug in the brasilian favelas.