Maasai Speak Back

Vanessa Wijngaarden
1 hour and 46 minutes

The (mis)adventures of five tourist groups in a dry and poor area of Tanzania are explained and commented on by both the Dutch tourists and Maasai villagers involved, revealing and destroying not only the widespread Maasai stereotype, but also the imagery Maasai have of ‘whites’. As they send each other video messages, both hosts and guests discover what  the ‘others’ were actually saying during the interactions, gaining insight in each others’ and their own life situations and attitudes. The surprised, emotional and ashamed reactions culminate in revealing, regretful and sincere dialogues, facilitated by the camera. As a result, the Maasai and Dutch experience an increased connection with each other, although they are now thousands of kilometers apart. Even if the huge international inequality and local cultural constellations often make it hard for Maasai women to be heard, as they speak their mind, their strength, empathy, wisdom and authority draws one into a worldview that questions and provides alternatives for expanding capitalist and individualist rationales. The storyline and cinematography playfully addressthe entanglements of contrast and continuities between the two worlds, or is it only one?