Documenting the Koglweogo in Burkina Faso: security or insecurity from below?

Bidragets oversatte titel: At dokumentere Koglweogo i Burkina Faso: sikkerhed eller mangel på samme set fra samfundets bund?

Heidi Bojsen, Ismaël Compaoré

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


This paper discusses two levels of what we may call “practices of security from below”. The first level concerns the practices of the Burkinabè self-defence groups, les Koglweogo, in Burkina Faso who have taken increasing responsability and power in local security practices during the last years of the regime of Blaise Compaoré and particularly since his fall from power in 2014. Our knowledge on this matter derives not only from published research and news clips on the matter, but mostly on the extensive documentary work carried out by Ismaël Compaoré (coauthor of this paper) and his colleague, Luc Damiba when doing the footage for and producing Koglweogo Land(LibreDroitTV, 2017). The second part of the paper will discuss the function of the documentary work and the documentary itself as they emerged from the growing dialogue between the Koglweogo and the documentarists. Within a few months, urban-based institutions of formal security as well as activist groups, the media and others
sought out the documentarists in order to get more nuanced information about the Koglweogo, just like the latter sought them out to understand the urban cosmologies. Inspired by Hagberg et al. on perceptions of security in
Mali, we wish to share our thoughts and receive input from the public, not only on Compaoré and Damiba’s documentary work, but also on the methodology and positioning of documentarists. The two levels are combined as we, following Hagberg et al. (2017), would like to discuss the documentarist as a co-producer of what the signs “security” or “Koglweogo” get to mean in public and political discourses in Burkina Faso. The positioning of the Koglweogo as “interlocutor-informants” (Bojsen 2015) within and outside of the documentary may challenge our received ideas about whose public and political discourse are “below” or not so “below” after all.
Works cited in abstract:
Bojsen, Heidi (2015) “Who decides What to Develop and How?” in Fred Dervin and Karen Risager
(eds.) Researching Identity and Interculturality, pp. 169-189. London: Routledge.
Compaoré, Ismaël and Luc Damiba (2017). Koglweogo Land (Documentary) DroitLibreTV.
Hagberg, Sten Yaouaga Félix Koné, Bintou Koné, Aboubacar Diallo and Issiaka Kansaye (2017). Vers une sécurité
par le bas ? Étude sur les perceptions et les expériences des défis de sécurité dans deux communes maliennes.
Uppsala: Uppsala Papers in Africa Studies.
Bidragets oversatte titelAt dokumentere Koglweogo i Burkina Faso: sikkerhed eller mangel på samme set fra samfundets bund?
Publikationsdato20 sep. 2018
StatusUdgivet - 20 sep. 2018
BegivenhedNordic Africa Days 2018: African Mobilities - Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sverige
Varighed: 19 sep. 201821 sep. 2018


KonferenceNordic Africa Days 2018: African Mobilities
LokationUppsala University


  • Burkina Faso
  • self-defense groups
  • Documentary film
  • sécurity
  • West Africa

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