THE BRONZE MEN OF CAMEROON

SYNOPSIS:

The Bronze Men of Cameroon’ is an intimate portrait of a community of bronze artisans in Foumban, the ‘City of Arts’. Bronze casting is a valued cultural heritage of the Bamum People in the Western Region of Cameroon. This film presents bronze craftsmen at work. It presents rare insights into their expertise in producing unique bronze sculptures that are inscribed with symbolic images and narratives of collective memory, identity and the Bamum character. The Bronze Men of Cameroon’ is also about threats to cultural continuity as global trends negatively impact on indigenous practices. Bamum bronze casting is endangered! The bronze craftsmen are facing challenges in sustaining and safeguarding their unique cultural heritage that has formed their collective social memory. The raw materials for their cherished traditional art practice are scare. The artists are facing competition from Chinese migrants who are buying the materials in large quantities and exporting to their country. Bronze casting activities are slowly declining. The foundries are closing down! Some bronze Artists are turning to farming and other trades. The artisans are fearful and uncertain “whether in the future Bamum’s bronze art could disappear” and, with it, a tradition and their sense of belonging that has defined their identity, culture, and history for several generations. Are these the last generation of bronze craftsmen in the Bamum Kingdom? In French and Bamum with English Subtitles

Year: 2020     Duration: 55 min     Language: French

Directed By: FLORENCE AYISI

Produced By: FLORENCE AYISI

Written By: Florence Ayisi

Country: Cameroon

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