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The Goumbé of the Young Revelers

A film by Jean Rouch

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As West African cities faced explosive growth in the 1960s, young people found themselves displaced, living in urban centers far from their families and home regions.

Enter the goumbés—youth associations combining networking, mutual aid, and a healthy dose of fun.

In this short film by Jean Rouch, we meet the Goumbé of Young Revelers, an Ivory Coast group whose bylaws include requirements for monthly parades, writing songs and coming up with new dance moves. The film deftly moves between club meetings and the daily lives of goumbé members—a longshoreman, a tailor, a clerk—providing a snapshot of life in Abidjan and culminating with a celebratory music and dance filled “meeting.”

Venice Biennale, 1966

28 minutes / Color
French / English subtitles
Release: 2021
Copyright: 1965

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Subject areas:
Africa, Social Movements, Family Relations, Cultural Studies

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