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Posts tagged "chad"

Dimly-lit portraits taken in the pitch-black darkness of nights spent with fishermen along the banks of Lake Chad, by Chadian documentary filmmaker and photographer Abdoulaye Barry.

For his 2010 Pêcheurs de nuit (Night Fishermen) series, Barry captured the night activities of these fishermen using a Nikon D50 camera, without a flash, with the fishermen’s head torches as his only light.

September: Highlighting African Photographers


"The journey is stunning…with the rains come lush green countryside, spontaneous lakes and beautiful migrating birds. And a hair-raising ride in a narrow boat loaded with all our malaria drugs and kits. The road is somewhere under several feet of water." —An epidemiologist helps fight a dangerous and unexpected malaria outbreak in Chad.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Chad gains independence from France

August 11th, 1960 was the date that the Central African landlocked country of Chad, currently home to a large number of various ethnic groups - such as the Fulbe, Moundang, Zaghawa, Kotoko, Toubou and Massa, collectively speaking over 100 different languages both outside of and within the same ethnic groups, gained independence from French colonial authority.

Before French colonization of the area, the Sao and Kanem Empires each flourished in the region.

Beginning in the 7th millennium BC, human populations moved into the Chadian basin in great numbers. By the end of the 1st millennium BC, a series of states and empires rose and fell in Chad’s Sahelian strip, each focused on controlling the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region.

France conquered the territory by 1920 and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa.

In 1960, Chad obtained independence under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1978, the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the south’s hegemony. However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. He was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby. Since 2003, the Darfur crisis in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad.


Abouna (2002) - Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Country: Chad

(via afrojabi)


First look images from Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Cannes 2013 entry “Grisgris” (via Shadow and Act)

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is a film director from Chad.

(via sarraounia)


Details of Gaoui ( small village near N’djamena) houses. Like Oualata architecture, the decorations are made by women. All pictures were taken by Hervé Cheuzeville.

Women in Logone-Birni, Cameroon, circa 1930-1940.


Mission Henri Moll (1906-1907) Auteur non identifié

Vanneuse Mundang, circa 1907

Photograph of a woman winnowing grain in Chad.


Film: Un homme qui crie (A Screaming Man), Directed by: Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Country: Chad

Our problem is that we put our destiny in God’s hands

(via mizoguchi)

A former fireman and a circus performer have been sentenced to two years in prison for attempting to smuggle 103 children out of Chad claiming they were Darfur war orphans and then hand them to would-be adoptive parents in France who had paid large sums to “save” children in crisis.

Eric Bréteau, who founded the charity Arche de Zoé (Zoe’s Ark), and his partner Emilie Lelouch were described by a Paris judge as “megalomaniacs”, which caused them to laugh as they sat in court.

They had not been present at their trial in December, preferring to stay in South Africa where they ran a guest house, tourist flight tours and a circus troop. But they unexpectedly arrived in court for sentencing amid speculation that an international arrest warrant would have been issued.

Bréteau and Lelouch were arrested with 13 others in October 2007 at Abéché airport, on Chad’s eastern border with Sudan. Local authorities had become suspicious after a charter plane with a Spanish airline crew landed at the remote airport.

Police pounced when the French charity workers arrived and tried to board with a crowd of children ranging from toddlers to 10-year-olds who were wearing fake bandages to make them look ill and who had not been declared to officials.

Dozens of families, mainly French, had paid between €2,800 and €6,000 to the charity to house a child from wartorn Darfur. The would-be parents, recruited on online adoption forums, waited at an airport east of Paris with warm clothing for the children, having prepared bedrooms and new lives for them.

An investigation by Unicef and the Red Cross found that at least 85% of the children still had living parents and were from Chad, not Sudan. The charity workers were arrested and sentenced to eight years’ forced labour in Chad, before being transferred to a Paris jail and then pardoned by Chad’s president, opening the way for a French trial.

The saga, which embarrassed France and led an NGO to warn against “humanitarian mercenaries”, was described by one nurse as “surrealist from the start” and is being made into a film. During the trial, Isabelle Rile, a doctor who visited the charity’s camp in Abéché, said she had realised that the children were almost all from the local region in Chad.

She said one day the children started crying and a girl asked for her mother. The children had thought they had been brought to Abéché to go to school, she said. When she confronted Bréteau and another doctor, she told the court, “they told me the children were unhappy, that they were in Africa”.

She said the children were in good health, “there was no medical catastrophe at all”, they were “psychologically well” but found themselves “without their families”. Another nurse described the children as “wanting to go home”.

Bréteau, a father of three who set up the charity in 2005 to help tsunami victims, claimed he wanted to highlight international inaction on Sudan and “save Darfur”.

He was described in court by one nurse as an “all-powerful manipulator” and accused of “playing on the [adoptive] families’ desires for children”. One lawyer described Bréteau’s hold over the other charity workers as “the almost messianic message by a veritable guru”. A witness said Bréteau was an “idealist prepared to dump everyone in the shit”.

Bréteau and Lelouch were found guilty of acting illegally as an adoption intermediary, facilitating illegal entry into France, and fraud with regard to the families who paid them. They were taken into custody, and said they would appeal.

Four other defendants, including three charity workers and a journalist who accompanied them on the Chad trip, were given suspended sentences. One defence lawyer argued they had been “blinded by kind sentiment”.

I have no words for how incredibly heinous the actions these people took to exploit these Chadian families are, nevermind the French would-be adoptive ‘parents’. And a two year prison sentence? Only?! For human trafficking across international borders, illegal border crossing, fraud, kidnapping and child smuggling (I’m no legal expert so forgive me if I’m just using colloquial synonyms). They didn’t even have the decency to attend their trial and I see nothing about their behaviour that indicates an ounce of remorse. Just goes to show how little the worth of African lives are. Even if there are 103 of them.

White saviorism once again rears its ugly head in a situation which I’m sure is far from unique and gets a mere slap on the wrist. I mean, the president of Chad actually pardoned them. This man has been president since 1990. He needs to take a lesson from the current Pope’s book and move on. He clearly does not know how to use his power effectively.

Oh and, this situation is being made into a film. Not sure by who but I can’t wait to see who they cast as the French couple since it’s probably going to focus mostly on their lives.


Chad by Ferdinand Reus on Flickr.


Daresalam, a 2000 dramatic film by Chadian director Issa Serge Coelo.

It has been considered one of the very few recent African films that has treated the theme of the internecine conflicts that have ravaged the African continent since independence.

While set in a fictional African country called Daresalam, it reflects the civil war that ravaged Chad during the 1960s and 1970s.

The film takes place in a fictional central African country amidst a civil war. It features as main characters two young friends, Koni (Haikal Zakaria) and Djimi (Abdoulaye Ahmat), whose peaceful existence is interrupted when the central government irrupts in their village harassing them and browbeating the villagers into paying new taxes to help fight the civil war.

Full Synopsis

(via blackfilm)

A clip from Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man (Un homme qui crie, 2010).

The film was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Watch a BBC interview with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun as he discusses the film in-depth.

(clip via keyframedaily)

(via blackfilm)

The Kanem-Bornu Empire was a large African state which existed from the 9th century through the end of the 19th century and which spanned a region which today includes the modern-day countries of Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Nigeria. The empire was founded by the Zaghawa nomadic people, who may have been the first in the central Sudan to acquire and make use of iron technology and horses.

Kanem was situated north east of Lake Chad. Its early origins are thought to lie in the 7th century with the settlement of the Zaghawa people. In the early 11th century, the Kanuri-speaking Sefawa dynasty was established, displacing the Zaghawa.

The empire was first mentioned by Arab chroniclers in the 9th century, and by the 10th century the ruler of Kanem had control of the Kawar Oases, a vital economic asset. The political structure of the  Kanem empire had most likely grown out of rival states coming under the control of the Zaghawa. In the 11th century the Zaghawa clans were driven out by Humai ibn Salamna, who founded the kingdom of Kanem with a capital at Njimi. The Saifwa dynasty was established, a dynasty which ruled for 771 years—-the longest known reign in history.

Saifwa rulers (known as mais) claimed they were descended from a heroic Arabic figure, and the dynasty greatly expanded the influence of Islam, making it the religion of the court. Wealth came largely through trade, especially in slaves, which was facilitated by the empire’s position near important North-South trade routes.

Kanem converted to Islam under the ruler Hu or Hawwa (1067-71). There is some speculation that this ruler might have been a woman. The faith was not widely embraced until the 13th century. Certainly, Muslim traders would have played a role in bringing Islam to Kanem.

The wealth of Kanem derived from the ability of its rulers to control trade in the region. Their main exports were ostrich feathers, slaves and ivory. Their exports were crucial to their power and ability to dominate their neighbour. They rode horses, which they imported from the north.

Kanem reached the height of its power under the long rule of Mai Dunama Dibalami (1210-1248). His cavalry numbered over 40,000. But over the next hundred years, a combination of overgrazing, dynastic uncertainties and attacks from neighbours led the rulers of Kanem to move to Borno, which had previously paid tribute to Kanem. At this point, the state is sometimes referred to as Kanem-Borno.

Bornu expanded territorially and commercially, but increasing threats from other rival states, drought, trade problems, and rebellious Fulani groups eroded state control. Muhammad al-Amin al-Kanemi, a Muslim cleric, eventually defeated the rebellious Fulani and built a new capital at Kukawa in 1814.

His successors ended the Saifwa dynasty and the Kanem-Bornu Empire when they killed the last mai in 1846. Al-Kanemi’s Shehu dynasty was short-lived, and succeeded by slaver and warlord Rabih Zubayr, who was defeated by the French in 1900.

(sources 1, 2)