Senegalese Director Moussa Touré’s Film “La Pirogue” Chronicles A Fictional Journey Of Migration That Is All Too Real.

“La ou on va, c'est pas le paradis.“ 

Haunting and revealing words that capture both the tone of the film and the complex reality of the situation that provides its fictional but all to real storyline. It is at this point in the film that both the characters and viewers are, together, forced to confront the painful reality of the imminent dangers that are terrifyingly inevitable.

Pushed to desperation by the economic climate in their home country, a group of men and one woman, in a Senegalese coastal town depart in a ‘pirogue’ - a small fishing boat barely fit for tempestuous and unruly waters - in search of a new, and hopefully better, life in Spain.

Journeys such as this are never taken on a whim. Each and every single passenger on board is aware - to an extent - of the dangers of such a voyage, most notably the boat’s reluctant captain, fisherman Baye Laye (Souleymane Seye Ndiaye). Unlike many who capitalize on the desperation of migrants and refugees, Laye is in many ways as much a victim as his passengers. Survival lies at the very core of human existence, and in the stories of the film’s characters, but for many this everyday struggle leaves them with choices that degrade and strip them of their humanity. 

As filmmaker Moussa Touré gives us the bits and pieces of the life stories of Laye and many of the film’s other characters, we move away from the desensitization of media reports and anti-immigrant rhetoric to an environment whereby a much more intimate relationship is forged between the viewer and various personalities in the film. Representing a microcosm of the troubling number of people who, daily, risk life and limb under similar circumstances, this humanizing element is perhaps the most important aspect of the film. By limiting the number of people ferried on this equality small boat, Touré personalizes this distressing experience. Confronted by this, Touré successfully highlights the humanity of the real-life individuals that have been reduced to numbers and sub-human masses.


Lake Retba, or Lac Rose, is a stunning pink lake in Senegal, Africa, located to the North of the Cap Vert peninsula.

The lake is obviously named for its bright pink waters, which are caused by the algae Dunaliella salina. The colour appears to be more vivid during the dry season, and as well as being pink, the lake also has a high salinity, similar to that of the Dead Sea, which allows people to float with little effort. Because of the high salinity, little else but Dunaliella salina can live in the lake, and the water is no good as a drinking source. The lake does however serve as a tourist spot and as a salt collection spot- enhancing the local economy.


Image; Tumblr

Also, you see on the headline the flow of African migrants arriving in Europe but you don’t speak of the Europeans going in Africa. That’s the free flow of the powerful, the ones who have the money, and the right kind of passports. You go to Senegal, to Mali, to any country around the world… Anywhere I go, I meet French people, Germans, and Dutch. I see them everywhere around the world, because they have the right passport. With your passport, you go anywhere around the world, and act like you run those place, with your pretentious demeanor. Stop the hypocrisy. We will all be rich together, or perish together