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Justine Shapiro travels through West Africa to the three former French colonies of Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. Here Arab, Black African and French cultures meet. Justine's journey begins in Ouidah, Benin. Benin was once notorious as the slave coast of West Africa and reminders of the past are ever present. Voodoo is also a strong influence on Benin's culture. From Cotonou, Justine travels north to Natitangou and the Somba valleys. The remoteness of the valleys helped the Somba tribe resist slavers and colonisers. Here she learns about the unique homes of the tribe which acted as mini-fortifications. Justine crosses the border into Burkina Faso and its capital Ouagadougou. Ougadougou is a travellers meeting place and well known for its hundreds of bicycle lanes, relaxed atmosphere and variety of markets. The next leg of her journey takes Justine to the desert and Gorom Gorom, one of West Africa's most popular market towns. Justine does a spot of shopping and hears more stories of West Africa's slave history from a stallholder. Gorom Gorom is the base for further into the Sahara desert to watch the spectacular and colourful camel-races put on by the nomadic Tuareg tribe. Justine's next destination is Mali, the largest country in West Africa. En route to Dogon country, Justine stops off to visit the mosque in Djenne, a classic example of mud architecture which the region is renowned for. Dogon country is trekking country and one of the most spectacular attraction in all of West Africa. The Dogon escarpment acted as a means of protection for a people anxious to preserve their animist traditions from Islam. Justine hits the Dogon villages in time to celebrate the Fete des Masques. Masks are an important symbol of Dogon culture and the festival is used to celebrate the harvest recount the story of the origin of the Dogons. The final leg of the journey takes Justine north to the legendary Timbuktu and then out to join their Tuareg tribe in the remote and harsh desert of the Sahara.
Runtime: 52 minutes per show
FORMAT: H.264 MP4 *Plays on Roku, AppleTV, Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, Firestick, Mac, PC, Cell Phone, or Tablet
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