Multi-disciplinary artist and intersectional environmentalist Oumou Aidara portrays cultural views on sustainable fashion consumption and social issues in their short documentary-fiction film.
Oumou Aidara imagines a world without kyriarchy, racism and image abuse by telling a new story of environmental justice and celebrating the BIPOC/Queer/LGBTQAI+ community in their artistic work. Therefore, taking action to decolonise environmentalism is one of the first things they do as an intersectional environmentalist.
For them, it means bringing their particular cultural background to bear in a way that simultaneously foregrounds immediate stories. Their heritage and cultural experiences are rooted in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, where they were born and raised and from which they drew inspiration for their new short documentary ‘Feel the Ground’. Fascinated by nature, they often use its elements as props to showcase the inherent beauty of organic forms and their lush colours, bringing together the themes of identity, humanity and the earth in a new context.
“I'm working towards giving a bigger contribution to a world where animal rights, human rights, women's rights, Indigenous rights, black people's rights, LGBTQAI+ rights, and climate justice is respected and achieved. A world where our system is reformed, mental health is being cared for and the planet is thriving.” - Oumou Aidara
‘Feel The Ground’ is a short documentary-fiction film told in Wolof, English and German. It portrays contrasting cultural views on sustainable fashion consumption and the social issues involved. We follow the journey of a Senegalese woman who studies film in Berlin. A film project dedicated to sustainable fashion brings back memories of a time when she was bullied for wearing second-hand fashion. On her journey, she shares her reflections on the subject and interviews people to find new perspectives. In the end, she confronts the bully.
Video written and directed by Oumou Aidara and produced by Mary Ellen Hynes.
For this production, Oumou has mainly cast people from their environment with whom they feel connected. Although the characters in the documentary are fictional, many of them were inspired by their friends who play these roles. Standing up for the same values, caring about the environment and being interested in critical discussions brought the team together in the first place. But behind this is also the connection between the group’s different socio-cultural backgrounds and identities, which leads them to create an inclusive working space for an intersectional fight for the planet.
“I dream for a future where the ecosystem is thriving and we’re taking better care of ourselves. One where the corporations are being held responsible for their actions - not the other way around.”
- Oumou Aidara
What inspires Oumou:
Read: "Your silence will not protect you" by Audre Lorde.
Watch: "We need to talk about Kevin" by Lynne Ramsay.
Listen: Moses Sumney, I adore all of his music.