Oct 21, 2009

Go & Return

Photographic Essay , Burkina Faso, Hrsitina Vardeva, 2009
We are so different but it is all about our freedom.
We are on the right way when we meet
and talk together about our common future
We have enough common struggles.
We all need time
We want to be able to choose
We all want another reality
We all dream,love and cry
We are all tired and confuse sometimes
We all need real friends around us
We all want that „we“ is really existing
We all search for our identity, chase our goalsBlocksatzand expect something more...

It was nice rainy month here, a lot of new contacts, visions and ideas...
I never met m ore happy, cheerful, helpful and hospitable people than the Burkinabe. One month is not enough for sure to get know this country and the real hard lifestyle here, not even to get used to it, but I am happy that I could come here at all.
We visited a project for street children,a nursery school in the Koubri village, couple of national parks, very poor quarters of Ouagadougou. We lived for three days in a local families, went to reggae pubs, street markets, artists quarters. We took part in the meetings with local officials and participated in international social forum.

The streets of Ouagadougou were flooded couple of times because of the heavy tropical rain. I survived after riding motorcycle here which is dangerous experience. Poverty is a lifestyle here , if you are not used to it after the first days, better go back home.
The young people here are open to learn a lot about our lives and experience but are also careful with taking every possibility to change as reasonable and good for them. I can completely understand this scepticism. In Ouagadougou there are so much rich „nasaras“ (white-skinned or white;from moore language). Most of the Europeans that live and work here have a big house in the outskirts of Ougadougou, go shoping in the most expensive supermarkets, give advices to the local Africans how they should use their water resources efficiently, build households and streets properly, make their business profit correctly, make their education better.
But still the cultural and political differences between the European people and the localers continue to be enormous. It is both difficult for us to understand the local situation but also for the Burkinabe to jump for seconds in 21st century European capitalist reality.
We cannot understand why they like to have new mobile phones and buy cool clothes, why they admire the life we hate. And they are curious
how our society is still functioning while women and men supposed to be equal and homosexuality is tolerated.
They want to come to live, work and study in Europe, we want to stay and travel longer in Africa. They believe their life will be better in Europe; we hopelessly try to explain to them that it might be just a bad dream.
They scare the Racism of the Europeans against the Africans, we scare the humiliation of the women rights in Africa.
They are angry that we can come whenever we want to their country, we are angry that our governments made our homes an untouchable metal fortress .
Hristina Vardeva

Ouagadogou/ Hamburg
18 min documentary video

A short documentary video reflecting the youth exchange in Ouagadougou , that took place in Burkina Faso in 2008.
Just before the end of the exchange program the participants shared with us their reflections about their fears and experiences , about the differences in the culture and the form of life.