SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Memorializing a Traumatic Past: West African Slavery on Film

Memorializing a Traumatic Past
Ana Lucia Araujo, Kevin MacDonald, Marie Rodet

Date: 20 February 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 20 February 2014Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Film

Keynote Speaker: Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University) ‘Public Memory and Legacies of Slavery from a Global Perspective’

Film: The Diambourou: Slavery and Emancipation in Kayes (Mali) (2014) dir. Marie Rodet (SOAS)

African slavery was officially abolished in French Sudan (present day Mali) by the colonial administration in 1905, but effective emancipation of former slaves was in fact a lengthy process, the repercussions of which were still felt long after Mali’s independence in 1960.

This documentary tells the story of those who resisted slavery by escaping their masters and founding new independent and free communities in the district of Kayes in the first half of the twentieth century. The film presents a unique audiovisual archive of slave emancipation in Mali.

Panel Discussion:

Professor Kevin MacDonald (UCL London)

Our film series and panel discussions with the filmmakers propose to make visible people of African descent in the world. By including films from the Indian Ocean World (Sri Lanka) and Africa (Mali and Benin), we aim to throw light on slavery in the African continent as well as its eastwards dimension. Slavery has all too often been studied in isolation from Africa. The focus has mainly been on the North Atlantic World. Indeed, the cultural dimension of Diasporas has long been observed in the North Atlantic World, but it has received only scant attention within the context of emancipated slave communities elsewhere.

The films and the discussion panels aim to question the biases in understanding slavery.

An accompanying exhibition of photographs by Fanny Challier entitled 'Malian Landscapes of Freedom' will be displayed in the Wolfson Gallery, SOAS Library, 24th February - 21st March 2014.

Organiser: The Centre of African Studies (SOAS)

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 0207 898 4370