Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"White Gold": Cotton Farming in Burkina - Produced by Steve Atlas

Film © Steve Atlas Productions, 2010. 

From renowned filmmaker Steve Atlas, independent producer, comes this short film "White Gold," on the impact of US cotton subsidies on farmers in Burkina Faso. While this film mainly focuses on the negative impact of cotton subsidies in relation to small farmers in West Africa, it also depicts the situation of rural dwellers in Burkina, as well as the workloads of women who labor in the cotton fields. In Burkina, as in much of Africa, women carry out the bulk of food production on top of household tasks - typically, with the help of their daughters - then, assist with cash crops as well.

More recently, women have become principal actors in the nascent organic cotton production, with opportunities for boosting incomes and their stature in the family.

Film director Steve Atlas in action at far right! Photo credit: Accion International

From a Burkina educator:
"I'll make good use of this film. Our people really need to know the effect of subsidies on cotton farming. Some years ago I accompanied one journalist from the New York Times, on a visit to the cotton fields near Bobo. Women were farming and men were watching and making estimates of the profits."
                                             - Marie Noélie Yameogo