SOAS University of London

SOAS academic releases new web-documentary on historical resistance against slavery in Mali

29 October 2020
bouillagui image

Dr Marie Rodet, Senior Lecturer in the History of Africa has released a new web documentary, Bouillagui: A Free Village, which tells the history of the inhabitants of the village of Bouillagui in Kayes, Mali who liberated themselves from slavery at the beginning of the twentieth century.

In 2008 Marie Rodet started an oral history project on slavery in the Kayes region in Mali. It is how she heard of ‘rebel villages’ for the first time, which led her onto the tracks of the village of Bouillagui. Its inhabitants liberated themselves from slavery at the beginning of the twentieth century. They rebelled against their masters and founded Bouillagui where they lived freely.

Bouillagui: A Free Village is a web-doc which tells this extraordinary history of resilience and why this little-known history needs to be shared widely to support the contemporary fight against discrimination and violence and for human rights in Mali.

The web documentary is part of the research project Visualising Liberté led by Marie Rodet in collaboration with the Malian association Donkosira and was produced with the financial support of the Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fund (SOAS, University of London) and the Anti Slavery Knowledge Network (AHRC-GCRF funding). 

Visualising Liberté's main objective is to capitalize on historical resistance against slavery in Kayes (Mali), to produce resources about human rights, citizenship and social justice, to raise awareness among young generations about the importance of fighting against all forms of discrimination and exploitation, including modern slavery. The project is currently working with Bouillagui villagers, including schoolchildren, on producing a graphic novel, an animation film and a mobile app, as teaching resources to tell the history of their village's rebellion against slavery.

Watch the documentary online. 

On 10 November, Dr Rodet will present the web-documentary with a Q&A in the webinar Bouillagui, a free village. A web documentary in Western Mali. Sign up to the webinar.