Classic African Films N°2: ‘Touki Bouki’ by Djibril Diop Mambéty

LOVE this movie!!! ❤

Here is an excerpt from my paper “African Youth Exercising the Margins” where I compared Touki Bouki and Karmen Gei (another great movie)

“In the film Touki Bouki, directed by Djibril Mambety, the main characters Anta, a university student, and Mory, a herder, set out on an adventure for France to become rich. They talk about going to Europe illegally on the Ancerville set to sail the next day by dressing up as aristocrats, getting a bunch of money, tipping the “right guys”, and pretending like their loaded by handing out francs so no one will suspect them. Mory and Anta live in Senegal during a time of globalization  and neocolonialism, where there is a high influence of Western things, lifestyle, and especially money. For Mory and Anta, they have seen in the West and their own country that money is associated with corruption, “those red cross ladies get fat during a drought1”, so to live comfortably and be successful they must engage in corruption. Even the red cross, who is supposed to supply aid and food to these countries have their own agenda and are not necessarily helping as much as they claim. Through narrative and montage sequences, Mambety’s film is a commentary on greed, Western materialism2, and the hundreds of young Africans who die every year trying to cross the ocean to Europe hoping for a better life and who never make it.

Anta, who perfers to drink bottled water and doesn’t believe in friendly lending of food, and Mory, who has debt yet rides a motorbike and desires to be called Mr. Mory, are marginal characters in their country because of their desires to be Western; perhaps their marginality and distance from their peers and family helped lead them to their decision that they must leave whatever it takes. Anta is constantly ridiculed by her family for her style of dress, pants and a button up shirt, and for going to a university because they may be afraid that she is forgetting her heritage and adopting an all Western attitude. These youths only wear traditional dress when they are trying to blend in with the audience during the wrestling match. Greed and the power of money is seen in the scene where Mory and Anta drive through a crowd of people who once yelled at them for their attitude and desires are now being greeted with song and dance in hopes that they will be able to procure some of their money. Touki Bouki filmed in 1973. taking place during a time of economic crisis which encouraged youths to migrate Westward instead of, like the previous youths associated with the nationalist project, staying in Africa and fighting underdevelopment, poverty, and, illiteracy. This new heightened need to migrate and interest in a quick fix to the problems of poverty aided Anta in her willingness to go along with Mory’s plans of theft and deceit3.”


1Mory. Touki Bouki. Mambety, Djibril. 1973

2The Hyena’s Last Laugh

3 Mamadou Diouf, “Engaging Postcolonial Cultures: African Youth and Public Space,” AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW, VOL. 46, NO. 2 (SEPT. 2003) 1-12

Make sure to read the analysis written by the original blogger, it’s very good and has a different focus. And make sure you watch this film!   



Africa is a Country (Old Site)

This is, perhaps, one of my favorite films of all time. A shifting and fragmentary tale of two young lovers — Mory and Anta — and their attempts to flee Senegal for Paris, ‘Touki Bouki’ is Djibril Diop Mambéty’s masterpiece. It fizzles with wit and acuity, it diagnoses the ambivalence toward the colonial master and the at times surreal practices of ‘traditional’ culture.

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Art in Times of Quake and Cholera: Edouard Duval Carrié

I love his work so much.

Repeating Islands

The University of Iowa’s Caribbean, Diaspora, and Atlantic Studies Program is pleased to announce its Spring Lecture by Edouard Duval Carrié, on Thursday March 1st, 2012, from 5:00P to 6:30 P, in the University Capitol Centre, 2520D.

A Haitian-born painter and sculptor based in Miami, Edouard Duval Carrié studied at Mc Gill University, University of Montreal and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. His “provocative work combines African fables, classical mythology, Haitian and world history with contemporary events.” It is widely exhibited, catalogued in several books and featured in numerous permanent collections including the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien in Port-au-Prince, the Figge Museum, the Miami Museum of Art, and the Musée des Arts Africains et Océaniens in Paris. In his lecture Art in Times of Quake and Cholera he presents a selection of his recent production. He also talks about the different aspects of his activities in…

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Africa, as a continent, should stand firmly for a right to veto UN decisions

Africa, as a continent, should stand firmly for a right to veto UN decisions.

The UN is controlled by the West, the decisions made by the UN may have documents like CEDAW (document to end discrimination against women) and Millenium Goal program, btu none of these really help anybody they are supposed to help. The UN cannot enforce that countries ratify and uphold CEDAW. When the UN gives out food in Haiti they don’t even make sure that everyone or the right people are getting enough food. Part of the problem why all these goverment people do everything in their power to pretend like they are helping Africa, but are really not is because Africa has no say in anything we do. We tell them we are going to do this and whether they want it or not US does not care. Africa needs a voice and gets left out of just about every world wide meeting and conferene.


Blessed Are The Meek: A New Movie

Last night I went to the Blessed benefit and screening party for this new documentary about life in Haiti since the earthquake. I would really like to see this movie as only the trailer was screened at the party. Am I glad I won tickets! The event was great with all sorts of amazing people. There was beautiful paintings by artist Hertz Nazaire and music by Nathalie Cerin. An open bar with Rhum Barbancourt (amazing rum from Haiti) and a three course meal for those who had tickets for that. Caribbean inspired hors d’oeuvres for everyone, one being the most amazing banana soup in existance. There were really nice raffle prizes, if only my boyfriend had gotten out his raffle ticket when they called numbers we would have won something awesome. Featured in the movie is Diaspora Community Services who are located in Brooklyn and help earthquake victims that come over to New York. They also have a center in Port-au-Prince that works with women and health. I got to meet one of the people who works for DCS who is going to Haiti for her first time in the spring. It was an amazing night!

“Blessed are the Meek”
A Jaffa Films documentary film project
Director/Producer: Barnard Jaffier


GAL draws Africa

Awesome political artwork. Very powerful.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

71-year-old GAL draws a weekly cartoon for the Belgian magazine Knack.* More of his 2011 work related to Africa below. All speak for themselves, except maybe for the last one in which Belgian politician Bart De Wever (leader of the country’s biggest party) tells the man at his feet to “take his own responsibility” (a favorite line of his).

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PALM OIL FOR DEVELOPMENT? – A land-grabbing story from Uganda

This blog is so true! The UN is in bed with the IMF and World Bank and is just as corrupt. The UN makes all these policies, but they usually don’t help and the ones that would are not enforced at all because the UN literally just makes policies they in no way do anythnig else to inforce them besides sayng “Hey guys, you know that’s really not fair, you should think about changing.” At this point the world is too far gone for that, we don’t need politically biased mother figures giving you the shame finger, we need radical efforts for radical change. And we need people to actually start caring about things besides themselves and other people in the world.

In college I studied a lot about Africa and would end up in conversations with fellow students about it. The saddest thing was that almost no one I talked to had any idea that any of this was happening in Africa and even sader were the people who said “I don’t care, I am not there, I don’t see, it doesn’t effect me.” You are wrong. All the horrible things happening in Africa begins and ends with us (western powers, ie: the United States, Europe, the UN, the IMF and World Bank). It also effects us directly because these same people who have Africa caught up in neo-colonialism (otherwise known as economic colonialism) are also creating all the laws for us as well. Partially the reason why we have almost no efforts going towards changing enviomental policies here and access to affordable organic food.

The reason why it was even brought to congress that pizza could be considered a vegetable, how horrifying, pizza may have tomato paste, but it is not a vegetable. There is so much oil and cheese in pizza that would make it the worst vegetable for you (vegetables are not supposed to be bad for you). The definition of a vegetable is that it is the part of the plant that is not seed bearing (the fruits) ie: roots and leaves, since when does pizza come from a tree. Also, I know the Supreme court declared tomatos a vegetable, however they are naturally fruits all things with seeds are fruits, this shockingly includes pumpkin, peppers, avocado, and eggplant. So tomatos are not vegetables nor should tomato paste be considered one. Majority of tomato paste comes from cans, cans are horrible for food, for starters tin and aluminum are not good for you neither are chemicals that get added to food that has to be perserved almost indefinitley.

Got a little carried away, but focusing back on Africa, we are all experiencing hurt and poverty. So remember that you are not too far off from those in Africa you claim to be worlds apart from and before you say “Africa always been poor and corrupt what can we do” remember things have not always been this way, corruption partially stems from poverty and disparity and partially from popular models of corruption. The United States is the largest model for how other countries would like to set up their government (or in most cases how we would like them to set up their government or else), we are also one of the most corrupt in the world. What i have learned is that the government has done all it can to kill us all off, starting with Africa and ending with us citizens (99%), except for the rich (1%), the only people who can afford to be sustanable and healthy food.

Stay light, love all.

African Perspectives


We need to understand the realities of our new models of development, supported by the UN and The World Bank and driven by the corporations and billionaire philanthropists so far removed from the realities of life. This new model doesn’t seem to be working for the people that it’s supposed to help. The question remains whom this development is for then?

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