Public Lecture - Anti-slavery Activism in West Africa

Key information

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
SOAS University of London
Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)

About this event

Come and discuss anti-slavery activism and research on slavery today in West Africa with Mauritanian blogger Koundou Soumaré, Dr Lotte Pelckmans (Copenhagen U) and Dr Marie Rodet (SOAS, University of London). We will screen documentary and animation films produced by and with the speakers.


  • Koundou Soumaré 'My anti-slavery activism as a Mauritanian blogger'
  • Dr Lotte Pelckmans 'Film screening: Ganbanaaxun Fedde: A Contemporary, transnational Anti-Slavery Network (2023)'
  • Dr Marie Rodet 'Animation Film Screening: All Equal! (2023)'

About the speakers

Koundou Soumaré is a Mauritanian anti-slavery activist and blogger based in Paris. He is one of the founding members and on the executive board of the Mauritanian anti-slavery organisation Ganbanaaxun Fedde Armepes.

Dr Lotte Pelckmans is Associate Professor in anthropology at AMIS, University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on the crossroads between migration and slavery studies, and contemporary anti-slavery activism in West Africa. 

Dr Marie Rodet is Reader in the History of Africa at SOAS, University of London. Her academic work uncovers hidden histories of West Africa by analysing the experiences of marginalised communities and the trajectories of local knowledge producers. For the past five years she has led major Digital Public History projects to make these neglected histories better known and more widely accessible. 

Film synopsis

Documentary film 'Ganbanaaxun Fedde: A Contemporary, transnational Anti-Slavery Network' (2023)
Trigger warning: the film includes graphic violence

This documentary delves into the contemporary anti-slavery movement, Ganbanaaxun Fedde “the federation of equality”, which gained momentum in the western Sahel region in late 2016. It gives insight into the movement's origins in the diasporic communities of mainly Soninke-speaking groups, who resist ongoing discrimination based on their slave past.  

The movement's success in mobilising members in Soninke-speaking regions across Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, and beyond, is partly due to their smart use of WhatsApp groups.

Animation film 'All Equal!' (2023)

Assembled around an elder, children are listening to an important but painful story: the history of the creation of their village. The village was founded by enslaved people who refused subjugation to slavery and ultimately escaped. The film recounts the unique history of this great escape.

It is a testimony to community resilience and the enduring resistance and search for equity and freedom in Africa.


For more info email Marie Rodet (, Lotte Pelckmans (, Esteban Salas (, or Wayne Dooling (