Muriel in bedik country !

Posted by Sorosoro on March 12, 2010

Everything works out in the end… After two days stuck in Dakar waiting to get back our filming equipment, Muriel, our head of cinematography, was finally able to leave for bedik country with Adjaratou, the linguist and Cheikh, an assistant. So, this little team was in the Kédougou region from Friday 5th March till the afternoon of Sunday 14th March. Their main concern was the heat – it got up to 40° both day and night!

Filming started well with the shooting of a festival in Bandafassi last weekend.


The Bedik cultural festival in Bandafassi © Cheikh Tidiane Sall

Adjaratou Sall and Léontine Keita (a bedik and manager of a camping ground) as organisers of the gathering, wanted to celebrate the bedik culture as part of the requirements of the Hans Rausing Foundation sponsored Bedik documentation project by Adjaratou Sall. So the inhabitants of the bedik village gathered together for two fantastic days of cultural celebration. The pictures should be wonderful…


Bedik Cultural Festival in Bandafassi © Cheikh Tidiane Sall.

On the programme the last few days were various arts and crafts: weaving, basket-making and pottery with products also being sold at the Kédougou market. Plus, there was traditional house building and walks through traditional bedik villages in the mountains. The filming of the bedik culture and language will continue on Tuesday 16th March and Wednesday 17th March in Dakar, where the team will be filming a musician and a series of linguistic surveys with Adji the linguist. After that, we will be filming on the 19th March, this time in Casamance. To be continued…!

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And they’re off!

Posted by Rozenn Milin on March 3, 2010

And we’re off! Our first filming mission for 2010 has begun in Dakar! Muriel, our chief operator, landed on Monday. She was welcomed by Adjaratou, one of the linguists with whom we work and Thierno, Head of the Department of General Linguistics and African languages at the University of Dakar, who guides us through the labyrinth of local bureaucracy…

Muriel at the airport before leaving

Right now Thierno has real concerns since the filming equipment has been held up at Customs… a good start! We cross all our fingers in the hope that the issue will be resolved and that the equipment will get to Bédik in the east as soon as possible. There is an important traditional festival there in the coming weekend and we don’t want to miss it.

The team stayed for another 12 days or so before making its way to Dakar (this takes a whole day and is no easy task…), before leaving again by boat for Casamance. There we meet Sokhna, another young Senegalese linguist, who will be managing the film content in a baynunk community.

We plan to work with two languages from now until the beginning of April, médik and baynunk, in partnership with the Sénélangues project of the LLACAN (CRS) laboratory, whose goal is to document 20 or so Senegalese languages in four years.

If all goes well, other teams should come to the area in the months and years that follow. And those of us who need to stay in the office to organise everything will revel in dreams of the magnificent photos that the teams will send us…

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