Accepted Paper:



Sandra Mooser (University of Bern)

Paper short abstract:

Predictions of what might happen in the future are strongly linked with the human imagination. Films allow us to give such imagery a visible form. They enable us to re-enact past events, pre-experience the future and make others learn from them. This is also the goal of the film PARADISE IN MY MIND.

Paper long abstract:

PARADISE IN MY MIND is a unique film project by the African community in Switzerland. Inspired by the Nigerian video film industry Nollywood, migrants of various African descent created a 96-minute long film in collaboration with a social anthropologist that reflects the experiences, ideas, dreams and hopes of African (mostly Nigerian) migrants living in Switzerland. While blurring the line between documentary and fiction, as well as between the now and then, the film provides an insights into the everyday struggles of African migrants and their imaginary potency.

The film tells the story of three migrants. Amos has just arrived in Switzerland. He discovers his new home, meets Aisha and falls in love. Everything goes well until his brother goes missing in Spain and his ex-fiancée interferes with his new relationship. The love for her Swiss husband brought Isabella to Switzerland. For several years, she has been working as a shop assistant but now intends to advance her career. However, finding a new job turns out to be much more difficult than she thought. JayJay came to Switzerland to make something of himself. But he soon realises that the system does not allow him to progress the way he envisioned. As there are not many work opportunities for asylum seekers, he starts dealing drugs. However, making money the fast way is not without risks.

Authors/Producers: Emmanuel Mark Bamidele, Sandra Mooser

Year of production: 2012-2015

Languages: English, Nigerian Pidgin English, German, Swiss German, Kiswahili (Englisch subtitles)

Length: 96 minutes

Panel Film01
Visualizing futures: audio-visual practices for a contemporary anthropology