Film Screening: ‘Welcome to the Smiling Coast’ by BRIHC
With the lure of a better future just around the corner, do they try their luck abroad or find their peace at home?
Welcome to the Smiling Coast offers a rare insight into the lives of 15 youngsters working in the informal sector of the Gambian tourism industry. Although the smallest country on the African mainland, the Gambia has become a popular tourist destination due to its warm climate, abundant wildlife and cheap intimacy. Ironically, many poor Gambians, particularly youngsters, are residing only a few steps away from the tourist hotels and beaches. Here they are trying to survive in the margins of the omnipresent leisure industry. With this lure of a better future just around the corner, the dangerous ‘back way’ across deserts and high seas to Europe, is always lingering in their minds. Do they eventually try their luck abroad or find their peace at home?
Welcome to the Smiling Coast shows the varied and often creative alternative strategies Gambian youngsters employ to secure their livelihood. Capturing their struggles, hopes and dreams, this documentary puts a human and positive face on the informal economy that lies behind the glitter of the Smiling Coast.
The Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures (BRIHC) is sponsoring a film screening on Wednesday afternoon at the upcoming ASAUK 2018 Conference. Producer of the film Emiel Martens will be there to answer questions from the audience. The film screening will be followed by an academic debate about topics raised in the film such as tourism, migration and youth in Africa.
For more information about the film, see the website: http://www.welcometothesmilingcoast.com/