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Audiovisual Training for the Forest People of Gabon

The beneficiaries of the project “Audiovisual Training for the Forest People” were various indigenous communities of Gabon: Bakas, Babongo, Akula and Bakoya. The project was managed by the association “Latitude Film” under the direction of French filmmaker and producer Jean Claude Cheyssial (jc-cheyss@numericable.fr) in collaboration with the Gabonese NGO “Mynapiga”.
Audiovisual Training for the Forest People of GabonThese populations, often referred to as “Pygmy”, live alongside the larger cultural group, the Bantus. The project made use of audiovisual tools to compile elements of their cultures, with the purpose of raising awareness of their value especially among the Gabonese populations.

The training in audiovisual production carried out in this project has enabled several community representatives to film for the first time their history and perspectives on the world. Hence, after a 15-day training in audiovisual techniques and local culture, four documentaries of 13 minutes length each were produced with the six trainees. The documentaries have then been assembled in a 26-minute film that retraces the history of the forest people through the portrait of several characters. In addition, the participants realized a music clip on the Rasta singer Moses, filmed two shows and shot a short documentary on snail hunting by the Bakoya.

The films have been showcased in traveling cinemas throughout the country and in cultural centers of neighboring countries, as well as broadcast by several TV stations.

"We are Bayokas, we live in the forest
We are hunters-gatherers
They call us Bakoya
They say Pygmies smell bad
We smell like gorillas and chimpanzees
We live from hunting and fishing
Pygmies are also men like all the others
They treat us bad, they bully us all the time
We are Pygmies, we are Bakoyas"

Estimé Mbithé

"Mother oh mother,
It is you who gave birth to me,
When the night fell,
You gave birth to me… under the rain…
You gave birth to me behind the house
Under the food-giving tree Oungamou
Mother oh mother,
It is you who gave birth to me."

Leonard Odambo

"Today I have been trained to use the camera,
tomorrow I will become a cinema man"

Jean-Louis Ngoubamé

Project Document gabon_project_french_version.doc
Contact First Name Leonard
Contact Last Name Odambo
Contact E-mail odamboleonard@yahoo.fr
Associated Organization(s) NGO Minapiga