Spain | 2020 | 5W Production | Documentary, Short, Drama Film | 17 min. | Color | French, Spanish | English subtitles
#boza, a film about people on the move from the African continent to Europe. In first person narrative and using videos and Selfies, Alhassane, Aminata, Mamadou, Mariam and Yahya tell their journeys and their goal of making “boza”. A word of disputed origin and exact meaning, “boza” is used by those trying to cross this particular border to describe the goal, and the act of successful crossing. The film #boza removes all filters, becoming a collective Selfie on migration.
Séverine Sajous is a French photographer and film-maker with a degree in Linguistics. She spent 9 years earning her living as an accountant, until 2014 when she made the definitive decision to leave accounting and give herself over completely to photography and film-making. She’s a visual artist deeply interested in people and the human condition and she likes to work in collaboration with her subjects, allowing them room to develop their own artistic capabilities and express themselves directly. She uses the visual medium to engage with the world and to push for more critical thinking. Most of her work to date has focused on migration and refugee issues. In 2015, she co-founded the Jungleye association, granted for several projects which engages communities through participatory practice with photography. She combines the art directory with the association in different contexts, with her own photography and film projects. Since 2016, she works on a trilogy of short-movies which takes its lead from the invented common vocabulary used to redefine the act of migrating and to communicate the collective experience. Her first short movie » Password:Fajara » was awarded in different festivals.
Her second documentary » #boza», just released, received the grant devReporter 2019. She has published work in the European press and internationally, and her work has exhibited in both collective and solo exhibitions.
Anna Surinyach (Barcelona, 1985) is a documentary photographer and photo editor of the magazine specialized in international information 5W. His work has focused on documenting population movements in different parts of the world. He has photographed the situation of displaced persons in countries such as South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Yemen and Syria. She has also documented migration routes from Central America to the United States and from Africa and the Middle East to Europe. She has coordinated audiovisual projects for Doctors Without Borders, an NGO with which she worked for 6 years, Oxfam and Expertise France.
In recent years, she has focused on documenting the situation of women fleeing their homes for reasons related to violence, poverty or lack of opportunities. Her photographs have been exhibited in France, the United States, Italy, Uruguay, Argentina and Spain. Her works have been published in both national and international media. She has co-directed the documentaries Misbah and #Boza.
We are Séverine Sajous and Anna Surinyach. We’re photographers and film-makers, who for several years have been documenting migration in different continents, each in our own way.
With our new short film #boza, we bring into question our own coverage of migration, and that of the global media, which tends to define migration by the act of moving itself. The most common narrative is that of a «migrant» in extreme conditions, during moments of terrible stress, at the foot of a border. Over time we’ve come to understand that this image advocates an immediate short-term reaction, but little else.
We wanted to do something different and while researching the imagery and imagination of people on the move, we were unable to ignore the important role of cellphone communication and social networks. We opted to use this new language as the way to communicate a different perspective on the effects of migration and exile.
#boza is an information and awareness project, built from Raw material. There is no voice over, and we’re not «giving voice». Rather, it’s our attempt to help us all listen.
Developed while making our short film «#boza», #boza logbook represent the process of meeting people and hearing about their journeys, logging all the information we collected onto phones, that allowed us to assess the viability of the project, reflect on and investigate further the use of cellphones and social networks by people on the move.
This collection of material in the form of a notebook on mobile phones led to the creation of the script for the film. Over a period of 6 months we worked continuously with one group of people, following their journeys and arrivals to the European cities of Almería, Malaga, Barcelona, Girona and Paris.
Based on what we collected in the logbooks we made with the protagonists, we were then able to gather enough information on social media that lead us to Nador and Tangier in Morocco, tracking some of the people who had disappeared while crossing the southern border.
The use of the Logbook allowed the film’s protagonists to speak from their own field of experience and gave them the space to be the narrators of their own stories. Their testimony opens the door to some much needed (self) reflection on the media’s representation of migration.
With the images and voices of
Concept by, Directors, Producers: Séverine Sajous, Anna Surinyach
Executive Producer: Maribel Izcue (5W)
Realization: Anna Surinyach, Séverine Sajous, Jose M.Val, Pepe Combalía
Editor / postproduction: Jose M. Val
Script: Anna Surinyach, Séverine Sajous,
Script coordinator: Pepe Combalía
Sound: Chris Blakey
Color Grading: Alex Iniesta
Website: Coreographix + Mil Máscaras
Collaboration with: Open Cultural Center, Strawberry Films, Btihal Remli