While politicians and media in the West talk about a tsunami of (African) migrants and refugees, or the migrant crisis, African emigration is first and foremost about migration within the continent. Therefore, this project aims to challenge our perceptions by gaining a better understanding of people’s aspirations and capabilities, the so-called push and pull factors, to migrate within the continent. To do so, this project zooms in on one of many economic hotspots in West Africa: Agbogbloshie, Ghana.
Some would call it an electronic waste dump that is heavily polluted and harmful to health. Others would describe it as a place rich in resources, where the scrap workers are technologists in a very practical way. While both narratives are most often used in isolation, findings indicate that both views are quite complimentary. Interviews and participatory observations over the years show the enormous negative impact and consequences of ‘disassembling’ – illegally exported European – electronics on human health and the environment.
At the same time people, supported by a growing number of organisations, are fighting for better working conditions, recognition of their problems, and a better future in general, with its ups and downs.
The title is borrowed from the narrative of hope that most of the 10.000 workers, or more than 50.000 people living in Agbogbloshie itself, have encapsulated. Most of them only arrived a decade ago from Tamale, the North of Ghana, not knowing how long they would stay or where they would end up.
Through transmedia storytelling based on personal stories, interviews, participatory observation, maps, images and video, this project tries to present a balanced image of one of several economic hotspots in (West) Africa, linking local context to (inter)national affairs.
An insight in the pull and push Factors in Agbogbloshie, one of several economic hotspots in West Africa
Short Journeys 2015, 2017,
Final expected 2019