Halima Gadji is a performance artist of Algerian, Moroccan, and Senegalese origin. She recently launched an autobiographical youtube series titled My Truth, in which she explores various socially-relevant issues through her experiences. Her latest post, published on June 30, features Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter. Being fans of Bâ’s novel, the episode caught our eyes.
The video is beautiful and well-produced. Gadji reads snippets of Bâ’s novel aloud against beautiful cinematic images and backgrounds. She interweaves her readings of passages from So Long a Letter with comments on the failures of formal education to shield women from mistreatment in a patriarchal world. She then delves deeper into her own experience of public education, which she criticizes for stifling the creativity in young people. She also points to the ways in which African public schools have not adequately engaged with African history and ideas. Europe is still the center around which the wheels of African history turns. She sees this as an erasure of the African past.
The video is brilliant, creative, and deeply introspective. It brings one of Africa’s most beloved classics to life in ways that make Bâ’s book all the more relevant today.