Walking with Life

The Birth of a Human Rights Movement in Africa

Rated: PG-13
Director: Kenny Mann                Producer: Kenny Mann
Length: 39 min
Senegal, USA

filmmaker on siteFriday: 12:00pm – Hendricks Art Center 1  Buy Tickets
filmmaker on siteSaturday: 2:30pm – Angel Museum  Buy Tickets
filmmaker on siteSunday: 12:00pm – La Casa Grande  Buy Tickets

Website: Rafiki Productions

The Birth of a Human Rights Movement in Africa documents the extraordinary impact of human rights education in Senegal, where an NGO called Tostan helps people come to their own understanding of human rights and democracy. Ancient customs, such as female genital cutting and forced early marriage, are re-examined and communities decide on which traditions they wish to keep and which no longer serve them in the modern world and should be abandoned.

Entire communities eagerly tackle health and hygiene, environmental concerns, registration for birth certificates, girls education and many other issues as Tostans method of organized diffusion spreads the human rights movement throughout the country and across its borders. Understanding the human right to a life free from discrimination leads to the break-down of cultural barriers between ethnic groups, thus opening up new arenas for cooperation, intermarriage and prosperity.

Program participants tell their stories. Ouriye Sale, who formerly performed female genital cutting on thousands of girls, is now its foremost opponent and will not allow her granddaughter to be cut. Imam Dembe Diwarra walks hundreds of miles from village to village to let people know that female genital cutting is not a law of the Q’uran.

Punctuated by the songs of a griot (oral historian), the film pulses to the dramatic beat of traditional music and dance. Whisked from the placid villages of the Casamance to the harsh desert of the Fouta and the teeming streets of Dakar, viewers become eye-witnesses to the empowerment of people through human rights education.


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