When the government of Burkina Faso started to issue mining permits in 2000, gold fever struck. The people of Kalsaka were promised mountains of gold: jobs for the villagers, scholarships for their children, money for the government coffers, and development aid for the next 10 years. But six years later, these promises rang hollow as the mountains of gold were simply taken away, leaving them with nothing but polluted land. Through the interweaving of fictional and documentary elements, No Gold for Kalsaka reinterprets the tale of good and evil so familiarly depicted in the Western. References to West African griot traditions, cowboys and Ennio Morricone's film music create a Wild-West-like world caught up in the gold rush.
Abdoulaye Sounaye was trained in Anthropology, Religious Studies and Philosophy and holds a PhD from Northwestern University, USA. His interests lie in the connections between religion, society and the state in Africa. His current research project examines religiosity and the reformulation of the secular on university campuses in West Africa. He is heading the “Contested Religion” research unit at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient of Berlin.