by Valentine de Dardel and Adrián Cobos
What is our project about?
In Buenos Aires, Senegalese street vendors are commonly known as manteros. Manteros suffer from police and institutional violence on a daily basis as a result of restrictive state policies and insidious racism.
Senegalese manteros are repressed and chased off the street out of the public eye; they are discriminated against because of their skin colour and the informal nature of their work. Daily police operations often end in altercations, with excessive use of force and confiscation of their merchandise. How do Senegalese manteros overcome this daily confrontation?
Our camera follows and listens to the stories of Eladhji, Ali, Via, Samba, Omar, Mbaye and Moussa, seven Senegalese manteros working in the streets of the Argentinean capital. We capture their past, culture and gain in depth coverage of their lives as representatives from a community of more than 10,000 Senegalese.
«Little Dakar» gives a platform to forgotten voices and reveal their truths, realities and hopes. These are the stories of resilient souls, challenging victimization, confronting fear and unmasking shame… in the hope that, perhaps, someone will hear them.
We want the public to get to know the Senegalese community on a deeper level: to understand the injustices they face and destroy negative stereotypes. The violence and oppression that manteros endure are unjustified. We want to show the strength and resilience of street vendors and dismantle assumptions of criminality or drug trafficking that contribute to excessive police control.
What's special about our project?
«Little Dakar» is an innovative and daring project that invites the protagonists to collaborate and tell their own story.
To do this, we will create a workshop which, twice a week for two months, our seven companions will learn the basics of cinema (how to use a camera, how to interview, etc.). Moreover, this workshop will allow them to express themselves freely through activities that we have prepared (art, poetry, storytelling,…). We will work together on developing emotions and expressive vocabulary to give them the necessary depth. We want all our Senegalese companions to feel part of the project and be able to collaborate, give ideas or even grab the camera to film and tell their own story.
Finally, we want this documentary to contribute to everyone’s effort to generate a more egalitarian society. With its distribution, we hope to reach a wide audience, especially through festivals (human rights festivals in Fribourg and Geneva for example). Because we believe that this documentary film is more than an artistic project and can be useful in raising awareness of discrimination, which is unfortunately still very present in Switzerland, Argentina and across the globe.
The project schedule:
Meetings/workshops: March/April/May 2020
Filming: June 2020
Post-production: July/August 2020
Premiere: End of 2020 or beginning of 2021 (Buenos Aires, Geneva and/or Fribourg)
Contact us by sending an email to email@example.com if you have any doubt, question or suggestion :)
What we're going to do with your donations
Making a documentary requires significant technical and financial resources. In order for our film «Little Dakar» we need your financial support today. With your help, we will be able to film, rent facilities (one room) for the shooting and our weekly meetings but also rent the necessary equipment (light, sound). We want to be able to compensate the main protagonists and participants for their time and work.
Finally, your donations will also be used for mixing and editing the film.
Your participation in this project, whatever it may be, will allow us to bring this beautiful project to life, and thus raise awareness among the largest possible global audience.
We sincerely thank you for your precious help.
7’000 CHF: filming and post-production.
8’000 CHF: production of a version in Wolof (a Senegalese language).
10’000 CHF: the film goes to a professional mixing studio.
13’000 CHF: distribution and travel to festivals (Switzerland, Argentina, France, Senegal). Organization of conferences during screenings, in schools, associations, etc… as well as distribution abroad.
WHO IS BEHIND THIS PROJECT?
Adrián is a Mexican audiovisual producer who came to Buenos Aires 4 years ago ending to make films. Graduated in Language and Literature from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He teaches Spanish to Senegalese immigrants in Argentina and work as a producer.
To see his work → Link reel: https://vimeo.com/352832733
VALENTINE DE DARDEL
Director and researcher of the film. After graduating from the University of Geneva and studying documentary journalism in Buenos Aires, Valentine embarked on her first major documentary project: «Little Dakar». Originally from French-speaking part of Switzerland, she currently lives and works in Buenos Aires where she also teaches Spanish to the Senegalese community.