THEME 6: SOCIAL JUSTICE
Each video capsule consists of an interview with a member of the Zinder Brain Trust about a specific theme, intercut with extracts from the film which illustrate this theme. Each one is just 10minutes long, the idea being that within a one hour class or group session, one or two themes can be treated, even if the whole film has not been seen by everyone. At the bottom of this page, you will find links to additional resources, a list of possible questions to stimulate discussion and a suggestion for individual and group activities.
In this film, Aicha has chosen to focus on youth, in part because it was young delinquents who were active in the riots that were the catalyst for the making of the film. Her choice also makes sense from a broader perspective because the majority of the Nigerien population (70%) is aged under 25 years and, by default, the future of the country depends upon them.
The youth of Niger face huge challenges but the situation is particularly extreme in Kara-Kara, a community that has been stigmatized and ostracized. This is evident in the scene where Aicha, who grew up in Zinder, can be heard asking Siniya – a member of the Hitler gang – to explain why, given that they both grew up in Zinder, their lives were so different; what he thinks made the difference between the two of them. He responds, without a moment’s hesitation, ‘education’. This interaction underlines the issue of social exclusion which is at the heart of the problems in Kara Kara. Aicha had grown up in a different district of Zinder and had access to education, whereas he, coming from the exclusion zone – the former leper colony, now reputed for crime – did not. As a consequence, he now faces further exclusion from the opportunities that education and training would provide.
The recently elected President of Niger has made youth a priority on his political agenda. This commitment to youth may be altruistic but it is also pragmatic. If urgent action is not taken to address the needs of youth today, the population will face even greater challenges tomorrow. Furthermore, if those who are disenfranchised – the youth on the margins – are not provided with opportunity, the security situation is likely to deteriorate. Members of the Brain Trust have referred to this situation as a time-bomb waiting to explode. In this video slam-poet, Jhonel, discusses the social justice and equity challenges facing the youth of Kara-Kara.