Stories About Life in The Gambia, West Africa

Our students from Salikenni, The Gambia, told us their country is "the smile of Africa". Take a look at the two maps below - can you see the "smile"? Hint: the city of Dakar is the nose...

Our workshop in Salikenni, The Gambia, was attended by twelve students who came to our class every day for two weeks, even though their regular school was not in session. Some of our students had to walk several miles to get to school, and some arrived a little late because they were working in the vegetable fields surrounding the village. The students learned how to use the cameras very quickly and soon were out being creative - like these two (below) trying to photograph fast-moving ants.

In the classroom, Lindsay and I timed our lessons with the projector to match the daily power outage: power goes off around 12pm, and goes back on around dusk. So we made sure to charge up the editing computers and cameras at night! Totally normal and manageable, just part of modern life in rural Africa. We were grateful for the electricity - one of our students came from a village yet to be connected to the grid.

The stories our students produced were filled with the activities of their daily lives, and show a 21st century society mixing the ancient ways of agrarian life with the modern technologies of solar power, clean water, and cellular communications. Our workshop culminated with a screening of student films, projected on the side of their school and attended by over 100 community members.

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Norwich, Vermont, USA

© 2020 Scott McClure Miller & Lindsay McClure Miller