Eric Komlavi Hahonou: Yesterdays slaves

Yesterdays slaves (2011, 29 min)

Slavery, emancipation, democracy, citizenship and ethnic groups are some of the topics covered in this film. Shot in northern Benin (West Africa), the film traces the long march to freedom of one man. His personal trajectory, both singular and archetypical, shows how the marginalized Gando seized the opportunity to access political representation and citizenship during the recent implementation of democratic decentralization in Benin. As explained by a mayor and municipal councillors, the Gando’s trajectory to power and citizenship started with an awakening and mobilization around Gando identity via a cultural and social movement. The documentary looks at this universal and complex process: the construction of collective identities.