The Desert Prince – screening and discussion with Howard Reid and Jeremy Keenan
6th February 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
THE WORLD OF GEO SERIES
The Desert Prince
Director: Howard Reid, 1994.
1995 Best Documentary Golden Gate Award. San Francisco International Film Festival. UK PREMIERE
With Director Howard Reid, Series Producer André Singer and Social Anthropologist Jeremy Keenan.
The film is a portrait of the renowned Tuareg leader Mano Dayak and his people, both traditional nomads and armed insurgent militia who, at the time of filming,had rebelled against the Nigerien government. A series of severe droughts had forced many Tuareg to abandon their traditional grazing lands and animals. The Nigerien government placed them in refugee camps where they were subjected to severe abuse and deprivation, sparking the rebellion.
The content of the film was largely determined by Mano Dayak himself, who wanted to make a film record of all aspects of Tuareg life, traditional and contemporary. He was also very keen to show the outside world the extreme beauty of his desert world as well as the natural and archaeological treasures that abound there. It was filmed over eight weeks living in the Sahara and travelling for thousands of miles around the Tenere desert, ranging as far as the border with Chad in search of military support from the Tuaregs’ neighbours and former enemies, the Tubu.
Sadly Mano was killed in a plane crash in the desert two years after the film was shot. He was on his way to peace talks with the Nigerian government when the accident took place.
Howard Reid and Jeremy Keenan will be in discussion after the screening. André Singer will chair the discussion.
Jeremy Keenan is Professorial Research Associate in the Dept. of Social Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS; and Visiting Professor in the School of Law, Queen Mary University London. He has worked, as a social anthropologist, for over 50 years in the Sahara, mostly amongst the Tuareg of Algeria, Niger, Mali and Libya. He has written some 300 academic papers, articles and book chapters on the Sahara, as well as six books and a seventh in preparation. His latest publication on the Tuareg explains how and why they have been demonised during the ‘global war on terror’.
THE WORLD OF GEO is a series of 12 documentary films produced for German TV. Most of them were never broadcast in the UK. The Royal Anthropological Institute will be screening the complete series over the course of 2018, and inviting the directors and producers to talk about them.