Pastoralists, generation-sets, conflict, state formation, local government
East Africa, southeastern Sudan
These films do not show Africa as a continent ridden by natural and political calamities needing aid and development. Nor have indigenous cultures disappeared everywhere. People like the Toposa in southeast Sudan have kept their sustainable own way of life since long, and from the “modern” world they are acquiring selectively only what seems to be useful to them. Although they are living in a harsh environment with considerable hardship, there is peace, joy and gaiety in their life.
TOPOSA 1983 | Link to video
The Toposa socio-political system is based on generation-sets. In regular intervals each generation-set holds a nyakidamadam, a generation-set dance celebration, in order to show its vitality and strength. The film shows digitally restored historical Super-8 material. A comparison with some almost identical scenes in "Toposa 2008" may be of some interest. | Author: Harald Müller-Dempf | Length: 30 minutes.
TOPOSA 2008 | Link to video
Scenes from the traditional day-to-day lives of the Toposa as well as clips of some spectacular generation-set festivities. | Author: Harald Müller-Dempf | Length: 39 minutes.
TOPOSA 2012 | Link to video
The complete title “At home with the Toposa – 2012” already gives away that scenes for this film were filmed mostly inside the Toposa homesteads – a rather intimate and quiet film. | Author: Harald Müller-Dempf | Length: 37 minutes.
TURKANA 2011 | Link to video
The material for this film was shot in 2011 shortly after the rainy season and it therefore depicts more of the positive aspects of the otherwise rather arduous lives of the pastoralists. It also features scenes from the capital Lodwar and irrigation projects. | Author: Harald Müller-Dempf | Length: 50 minutes.
My field research 2013/2014 focussed on how the Turkana developed hybrid ways of life between traditional pastoralism and modern market economy. The film exemplifies a number of aspects. | Author: Harald Müller-Dempf | Length: 45 minutes.