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Abstract

In 2010 I filmed descendants of formerly enslaved populations in Kayes narrating the history of their ancestors and the realities of internal slavery in West Africa. The result was a 23-minute documentary film entitled “The Diambourou: Slavery and Emancipation in Kayes—Mali,” which was released in 2014. The film was as much responding to specific historiographical questions in the field as a tool of research action to raise awareness among younger generations and to fight legacies of social discrimination today. With the exactions perpetuated against descendants of formerly enslaved populations in the Kayes region since 2018, the film, via its access-free online version, has experienced a second life as an anti-slavery activist medium, helping to bridge the gap between endogenous historical fighting against slavery and contemporary anti-slavery activism in the Soninke diaspora.

Open Access
In: Journal of Global Slavery
L’œuvre d’un historien guinéen à l’époque coloniale / The Work of a Guinean Historian during the Colonial Period
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Essai d’histoire locale fut écrit par un acteur-clé de l’historiographie de l’Afrique de l’Ouest pourtant encore méconnu: Djiguiba Camara. Rédigé en 1955, ce texte est centré sur l’histoire de la Haute Guinée, avec une attention particulière portée sur l’empire de Samori Touré et la résistance anticoloniale.
Ce texte, Essai d’histoire locale, illustre la fabrique de l’histoire locale par un intermédiaire colonial guinéen et un intellectuel, à partir du point de vue spécifique de la famille Camara, qui fut engagée dans les armées de Samori. Ce texte n’a été connu que parce qu’il est devenu l’une des sources majeures de l’historien français Yves Person pour sa monumentale thèse Samori, Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975). Avec l'édition annotée de cette source primaire, Essai d’histoire locale de Djiguiba Camara devient enfin accessible à un lectorat plus vaste. Elara Bertho et Marie Rodet ont démontré grâce à cette publication que Essai d’histoire locale est une source essentielle pour la compréhension de l’histoire de la Guinée et de la fabrique de l’historiographie en générale, et du travail d’Yves Person en particulier.

Although a key figure in West African historiography, Djiguiba Camara has remained almost completely unknown. Completed in 1955, Essay on Local History focuses on the history of Upper Guinea with an emphasis on the Empire of Samori Touré and anticolonial resistance.
Everywhere in Essay on Local History we can see not only the highly developed craft of the local historical writing of a Guinean colonial intermediary and scholar, but the view he gave is from the particular perspective of the Camara family, who had served in Samori’s armies. Djiguiba Camara’s own work had been known only by reputation as a source for the monumental thee-volume Samori – Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975) by the French historian Yves Person. Now however, in this fully annotated text edition, Djiguiba Camara’s Essay on Local History becomes available to a wider audience for the first time. Elara Bertho and Marie Rodet have demonstrated through this publication that Essay on Local History is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand both the history of Guinea and the making of historiography in general, but also Yves Person’s modus operandi.
In: Essai d’histoire locale by Djiguiba Camara
In: Essai d’histoire locale by Djiguiba Camara
In: Essai d’histoire locale by Djiguiba Camara
In: Essai d’histoire locale by Djiguiba Camara
In: Essai d’histoire locale by Djiguiba Camara
In: Essai d’histoire locale by Djiguiba Camara