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Rodet, Marie and Maximin, Cosmo (2020) Bouillagui: A Free Village. SOAS University of London. Available from

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In 2008 I started an oral history project on slavery in the Kayes region. It is how I heard of ‘rebel villages’ for the first time, which led me onto the tracks of the village of Bouillagui. Bouillagui is a Soninke village of Western Mali. It is located next to the Mauritanian border. At first sight, it appears indistinguishable from other villages in the region. Yet, its exceptional history of fighting against slavery makes it a unique village. Its inhabitants liberated themselves from slavery at the beginning of the twentieth century. They rebelled against their masters and founded Bouillagui where they lived freely. The people of Bouillagui are very proud of their history. It is in stark contrast with the rest of Mali. Indeed, there is usually a taboo towards internal slavery. People are unwilling to speak about it. It is considered shameful to have had enslaved ancestors.

Item Type: Films
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2022 11:34
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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