Between Islam and the Sacred Forest

An anthropologist and a linguist from Germany are trying to understand a ritual, taking place in a small village on the coast of Guinea, West Africa. They are told that two seemingly conflicting ceremonies take place during a four-day event commemorating a recently deceased woman: a Muslim celebration of the 40th day after death conducted by a local Imam, and the Mkisaata ritual, performed by the members of a Nalu female secret society in honour of its deceased member. As the involved men explain the filmmakers their respective version of the events, the researchers get increasingly drawn into the ritual by the women of the secret society and become part of their performance.

Martin Gruber

Martin Gruber studied Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London and Social Anthropology at Hamburg University. He works as an ethnographer and filmmaker and teaches visual anthropology. He recently completed a PhD on participatory ethnographic filmmaking at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Bremen. His films have been widely screened at international ethnographic film festivals.

Frank Seidel

Frank Seidel studied African Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Political Science at the University of Cologne, Germany. After completing his Ph.D. in 2008, he worked as a Post-Doc and Visiting Researcher at the University of Florida from 2010 – 2015. Frank is an established fieldworker and his research methods use the full digital array currently available, namely video, audio, imagery, as well as the digital collation of various types of transcriptions.