Sana N’Hada

Mediateca Onshore

Malafo, Guinea-Bissau · Cinema

Malafó community. Mediateca Onshore

2018 AFIELD Fellowship was awarded to Filipa César and Sana N’Hada for their project Mediateca Onshore based in Malafo, Guinea-Bissau, to give visibility to the Bijagó people, their culture and the deeply entangled relationship they have with their precious environment.

The MEDIATECA ONSHORE is an arts and culture platform in a socially and ecologically sensitive area in Guinea-Bissau. As a venue, it hosts archives, workshops, seminars, production and community gatherings. As a network, it acts as a hub for transferring local, South-South and mundializing knowledge through performing arts, archival practices, moving image and digital media. It articulates practices in the fields of art, agroecology, traditional knowledge and media as contribution to social, economical and environmental justice.

The village (tabanca) of Malafó is located about 90 km from Bissau, on the northern bank of the Geba Channel, in the Oio region (central Guinea-Bissau). The river basin is surrounded by a forest of savannahs and floodplains, a wetland that leads to the sea, making it an excellent place for developing agricultural and fishing activities. The area is immediately adjacent to the natural park ‘Parque Natural das Lagoas de Cufada’, run by the Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP). The management of the Malafo School, its parents’ association ‘Associação de Pais e Encarregados de Educação’ (APEE) – No Ria Bolanha, as well as the local community all believe that in order to prevent that acquired knowledge gets quickly forgotten over time, it is not enough to learn how to read or write. They strive to develop their own literary and academic knowledge as well as general culture by setting-up a local public library. The vision of the Mediateca Onshore came from the encounter between Geba Filmes, the luta ca caba inda collective and the Malafo community. The building of the Mediateca Onshore was constructed between February and August 2021.

The overall “Mediateca Onshore” project is conceived as the implementation process for a media practice which is then meant to continue on a self-sustained, community-supported basis.

Mediateca Onshore. Malafó community.

Sana N’Hada (1950) is a Guinean pioneer filmmaker and a former guerrilla activist of the liberation movement against Portuguese colonialism. He has been producing films in the Bijagós Island since 1979, and has witnessed the tragic effects of development on Bijagós indigenous culture and their natural environment and the best and the worst times in Guinea-Bissau. He joined Amìlcar Cabral’s revolutionary army in the heady days of the war for independence. In the restive years following self-rule he set about making evocative films that captured and challenged the prevailing zeitgeist.

Sana N’Hada Afield Fellow 2018

Sana N’Hada AFIELD Fellow 2018

Filipa César (1975) is an artist and filmmaker interested in expanded possibilities of moving image practices. Since 2011, she has been researching and getting affected by the imaginary of the militant cinema of Guinea Bissau.

César has been showing her work regularly in film festivals such as Berlinale, Rotterdam, Curtas, DocLisboa and Oberhausen and in contemporary art venues such as SAAVY (Berlin), Khiasma (Paris), Tensta konsthall, e-flux, Mumok, MoMA, Harvard Film Museum.


Filipa César Afield Fellow 2018

Filipa César AFIELD Fellow 2018

Abotcha. Mediateca Onshore, Malafó community