Tropentag 2021:

Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future

September 15 - 17, 2021,
organised by
University of Hohenheim, Germany

Film Festival

Perspectives on Pastoralism Film Festival at the Tropentag 2019

Sorio festival in Kargi, Marsabit County, Kenya

Tuesday September 17, 2019 - starting at 19:15h
Amphitheatre University of Kassel, Höllandischer Platz

The Perspectives on Pastoralism Film Festival will deepen understanding of how diverse peoples across the world gain their livelihoods from extensive livestock production. The relationships of pastoralist people and animals and their food production systems reflect an intimate intertwining of culture, economy and ecology in harsh environments such as drylands and mountainous regions. In such environments, mobility of animals plays a key role. This film festival opens the possibility for showcasing visual media that will spark dialogue, inspire debate and complement the presentation of research at the conference. This event is organised by the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism (CELEP), including the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), Agrecol Association for AgriCulture & Ecology, and Veterinarians without Borders (Vétérinaires Sans Frontières), among others.


19:30 - Start Part I - Shorts

Ngaynaaka: herding chaos (Niger, 2017, 4:59 min. teaser)
Filmmaker: Saverio Krätli
This documentary focuses on how pastoralists thrive despite climate change. As the environment becomes more unpredictable all over the world, people face higher costs in an effort to sustain the usual strategies to control it. The WoDaabe pastoralists in Niger show that there is another way.
Preserving Rajasthan's camel herds (India, 2018, 7:36 min.)
Filmmaker: Cornelia Borrmann (reporter), Deutsche Welle
The Raika people in India have been herding camels in Rajasthan for centuries. But their traditional way of life is now under threat. A German NGO, the League for Pastoralist Peoples, is trying to create a perspective for the camel herders through the sale of camel milk and other products, in order to help the Raika sustain their livelihood.
Let's not export our problems (France, 2019, 2:02 min.)
Production: Switch asbl
This brief animation shows how milk exports from Europe are inhibiting development of markets for milk from pastoral and other herds in West Africa. The Milk Campaign organised by SOS Faim, Oxfam, VSF, European Milk Board and Mon Lait est Local shows the serious consequences of the European milk crisis for dairy producers in South and North.
Stories from the landscape: cattle drove (Ireland, 2018, 10:30 min.)
Filmmaker: Paul Murphy
This film shows the living cultural heritage of transhumance in Europe: moving livestock to different grazing grounds in a seasonal cycle that goes back as long as people have been farming in the region. In Clare County of Ireland, the filmmaker follows the Burren Beo group through their Winterage Festival celebrating this ancient tradition that allows the region's unique plant and animal life to flourish. Here, the highlands are grazed in the winter and the lowlands in summer. This is contrasted with the movement of sheep in the Alps of northern Italy, where flocks are moved to the mountain pastures for the summer.
Extensive livestock farming: an opportunity to tackle climate change (Spain, 2019, 2:24 min)
Filmmaker: Marta Guadalupe Rivera Ferre
This video animation summarises the main messages of the research project "Adaptation strategies to climate change of Spanish pastoralism: a social perspective", made with support from the Fundación Biodiversidad of the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition. It shows principles of pastoralism that are applicable worldwide.
Waynaabe: life scenes of the Wodaabe (Niger, 2012, 17:57 min.)
Filmmaker: Francesco Sincich
'Waynaabe' shows the life of nomadic Wodaabe livestock keepers through the eyes of the young mother Mooro. Her unmarried niece Mariama explains the worso, a ceremonial gathering of their clan in Akadaney. The film highlights how the Wodaabe value their cattle and deal with the challenges of gaining a livelihood in the drylands of Niger. It was commissioned by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VSF) Belgium to show the setting of their work on animal health.
Lower Omo: local tribes under threat (Ethiopia, 2013, 7 min.)
Filmmaker: deliberately not named
This advocacy film by the Oakland Institute (USA) reveals the situation of agropastoralists in the Lower Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to about 200,000 people from several ethnic groups, e.g. the Bode, Dassenach, Hamer, Karo, Kwegu, Mursi, Nyangatom and Suri. Most of them raise livestock where the annual flooding of the Omo River replenishes grazing areas and practise flood-retreat cropping on the riverbanks. Their cattle are a source of food, wealth and pride, and are intimately tied to their cultural identity. The lives and culture of these peoples are threatened by the construction of the Gibe III dam.
UnderMining Karamoja (Uganda, 2017, 24:13 min.)
Production: Karamoja Development Forum
It is 20 years since the start of industrial mining in Karamoja. This film explores reasons why the industry is far from contributing to socioeconomic gains in this largely pastoral region, and worse, how it is shaping up massive land grabs that are undermining the livelihoods of pastoralists and other inhabitants of the area.
Olosho (Tanzania, 2015, 15:37 min.)
Filmmakers: 6 Maasai community members in Loliondo
This video on their struggles for land rights was made by six community members from five Maasai clans in northern Tanzania during a training by InsightShare in participatory video (PV). In 1992, a hunting company from the United Arab Emirates occupied 1500 km² of village land in Loliondo to set up a private game reserve beside the Serengeti National Park. Since then, Maasai have been denied access to vital pasture and waterpoints for their herds. The people suffered mass eviction from their villages within the disputed land. The PV training strengthened the Maasai's self-advocacy to resist land-grabbing by foreign investors.
Tes River Mongolians (Mongolia, 2019, 18 min.)
Filmmakers: Namuulan Gankhuyag and Tseelei Enkh-Amgalan
The Tes River flows from the Bulnai Mountains through three Mongolian provinces - Khuvsgul, Zavkhan and Uvs - feeds into Lake Uvs, which is registered by UNESCO in 2013 as a Natural World Heritage site. On the banks of river live nomadic herder families who believe the river is God's blessing for them, being the source of their livelihood and of water for humans and animals. The full-length film (56 minutes, of which this is an excerpt) shows the lifestyle of Mongolian herders, rotational grazing of rangelands and people's attitudes to and respect for their natural environment, by depicting the lives of three families living near the beginning, middle and end of the Tes River Valley. Contact the filmmakers for the complete film: namiigina(at) / enkhamgalan(at)
Bayandalai: Lord of the Taiga (Mongolia, 2018, 11 min.)
Filmmakers: Aner Etxebarria Moral and Pablo Vidal Santos
From inside his yurt in northern Mongolia, the reindeer herder Bayandalai - an elder of the Dukhas tribe - muses about the significance of life and death in the largest forest on Earth, the Taiga. Through his connection with the reindeer and with the Taiga, Bayandalai has access to spiritual truths and higher consciousness that he may not be able to pass on to his family members before the lures of city life - jobs, money, houses, things - entice them away.


21:45 - Start Part II - Feature Film

Shepherdess of the glaciers (India, 2015, 1 hour 13 minutes)
Filmmakers: Stanzin Dorjai and Christiana Mordelet
Tsering is a shepherdess who lives with her flock in the heights of the Gya-Miru valley in Ladakh. At the age of 50, she is the youngest in her village to drive her 350 goats and sheep in transhumance in this region of the Himalayas, located 4000-6000 metres above sea level. A harsh and precarious life, often solitary, challenged by difficult climatic conditions, does not prevent this small woman from singing, laughing and philosophising.