Yesterday's Slaves. Democracy and Ethnicity in Benin

Seminar date: 
31 March 2011
15.30 - 17.00u
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Seminar room: 
3A06 (third floor)

The documentary ‘Yesterday's Slaves. Democracy and Ethnicity in Benin’ by Camilla Strandbjerg and Eric Hahonou (2011, 29 minutes) will be screened during this seminar.

15.30-15.50 Introduction by Eric Hahonou
15.50-16.20 Film
16.20-16.30 Comments by Han van Dijk
16.30-17.00 Discussion

Slavery, emancipation, democracy, citizenship and ethnic groups are some of the topics covered in this film. Shot in northern Benin (West Africa), the film traces the long march to freedom of one man. His personal trajectory, both singular and archetypical, shows how the marginalized Gando seized the opportunity to access political representation and citizenship during the recent implementation of democratic decentralization in Benin. As explained by a mayor and municipal councillors, the Gando's trajectory to power and citizenship started with an awakening and mobilization around Gando identity via a cultural and social movement. The documentary looks at this universal and complex process: the construction of collective identities.

Additional speaker information: 

Eric Hahonou is an Assistant Professor/Postdoc in the Department of Society and Globalisation/International Development Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark. He is a member of LASDEL (Laboratory for the Study and Research on Social Dynamics and Local Development, Niger and Benin). He will be at the African Studies Centre as a visiting fellow until 16 April 2011.