‘What I Used To Know – The Road To Ghana’s ‘Witches’ Camps’.
A Film by the Southern Sector Youth and Women's Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN)
Produced by Zoe Young
with Saskia Evans and Andrea Cuadrado.
I don’t want to be here.
Somebody decided I was a witch.
Now my heart is dead – what I used to know, I don’t know any more…
Yadu Masam, Ngani ‘Witches’ Camp’, Ghana, 2010
What becomes of women accused of witchcraft?
Who can stop the burning?
How to educate the ignorant, heal the fearful and end the isolation and abuse of some of our most vulnerable people?
In many parts of the world, magic and spirits are everywhere. One consequence is that physical illness, death and misfortune may be blamed on supernatural intervention. A feeling that events are spinning out of control can fuel violence towards scapegoats. Victims are often ‘outsiders’ of some kind, be they old, mentally ill, disabled, infertile or even just outspoken women.
But given culturally appropriate education and concerted government action, might the modern witch hunts be stopped? In this half hour film, West African women’s empowerment coordinator Zenabu Sakibu hears the heart-breaking stories of accused 'witches' in Ghana’s Northern Region, and challenges her nation to step up….
This 30 minute film was commissioned by SOSYWEN to screen on Ghana TV, as part of their educational campaign to reintegrate the women of the 'witches' camps' and secure the basic human rights of Ghanaian men, women and children. The film was made on a very tight budget, and covers a story rarely told in the West: African people taking effective steps to solve problems affecting their development - within their own communities and cultures.
Co-ordinator of the 'Witches' Camp' Integration Project of the Southern Sector Youth and Women's Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN), Zenabu received her Masters in Project Planning and Management at Bradford University. She works to give other West African women the chance to develop and give back to their communities.
With a MSc. from Sussex University in Science and Technology Policy, Zoe writes and makes films about edgy and neglected issues in human development. Navigating international economy, ecology, science, spirit, security, activism, gender and politics, she works to give voice to the voiceless in a techno-globalising world .
+44 7931 316 970
Camera, Assistant Director/Producer
Inspired by studying Social Anthropology in Manchester, Saskia Evans has worked in factual TV, documentary development, and as a freelancer making films for NGOs in Britain and abroad. Filming in Ghana got her stuck into a complex, potent issue at the interface of culture and human rights.
vimeo: saskia evans
An editing graduate from the National Film and Television School, Andrea has edited long and short form documentary and assisted on BAFTA award-winning films. She is passionate about giving a voice to important stories through film.
The massive worldwide problem of witchcraft-related abuse receives very little attention from experts in development, gender and campaigns to stop violence against women. This film shows not only that witchcraft-related abuse is a serious issue substantially affecting development in places like West Africa, but also that something can be done about it.
SOSYWEN is grateful to DANIDA for its kind support of this film and of the 'Witches Camp' Integration project.
To learn more about SOSYWEN's work, please visit http://www.sosywen.org
Available for distribution via Journeyman Pictures
Please contact us to arrange a screening. Thank You.