“A community in difficulty meets resilience and change thanks to the collective project of Arturo Vittori. Through this story we follow an innovative approach that recovers the cornerstones of local tradition, transforming the rescue into an autonomous system”.


The “Warka Village” is the title of a documentary project based on the real history of the work of the non-profit Warka Water Inc. & Partners, conducted between 2019-2021 in Cameroon, for the realization of the Warka Village, in support of the local ethnic group of the Pygmy peoples. The documentary is organized into 9 episodes, total duration of about 60 minutes. Episodes: 1|Christina, 2|Rainforest, 3|Pygmies, 4|Visitor, 5|Bibambi II, 6 |Celebration, 7|Hands, 8|Promise, 9|Partners


Christina is a Pygmy child, she was born in the Bibambi II community, from the South Region in Cameroon. She is the first of four children. She lives in the big Congo Basin Rainforest, in the wild nature and the forest is her school. Christina’s main daily activity is to fetch water from the stream and to transport it to her house to help her mother.


Cameroon hosts part of the Congo Basin forest, the first-largest tropical rainforest worldwide, an area estimated at 22 million hectares. The forests have been home to Pygmies communities and also to many large mammal species (elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees), as well as countless species of trees and plants of high medicinal and cultural value. It controls the climate and regulates stream flow and maintains rainfall of the area with a relevant influence on the global climate. Recently there has been an alarming rate of deforestation. Hundreds of hectares of forest are destroyed every year by multinational companies causing enormous damage in the wet tropical forest with a relevant inpact on the Global Climate Change.


The Pygmies is a very ancient ethnic group of Central Africa. They identify themselves as ‘Forest Peoples’ due to the fundamental importance of the rainforest to their culture, livelihood, and history. They live in an intimate connection to the forest where they do hunting, fishing, pick fruits, leaves, plants, trees, and collect firewood that is useful every day for cooking. Currently Pygmies culture and lifestyle are fast deteriorating. The destruction of them natural habitat, the rainforest, has resulted in a sedentarisation process pushing Pygmies to face a major challenge in shifting from their traditional lifestyle of isolated clans practicing nomadic hunting and gathering to a sedentary life of part-time agriculturalists, lacking farming skills and tools.


“In 2018, I was visiting some rural communities in Cameroon challenging the access to Potable Water. Here the situation is desperate, especially for the Pygmy people. Expelled from their land, Pygmies have no future, they live in makeshift camps with no access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation facilities. Children are responsible for water harvesting and transportation. They drink, cook, wash, go to the toilet, and swim in the same stream of water. They live in camps where bacteria, viruses, and mosquitoes proliferate, resulting in health issues such as cholera, diarrhea, and malaria. This is the cause of the increased mortality rates, especially on young children”. said Arturo Vittori


After the first visit to the Pygmy community of Bibambi
II, a formal meeting was organized between the Chef of the community, Biang Martin Yves, and the Warka Water President, Arturo Vittori. The project, the Warka Village, has been presented to the community to be approved. The visit to the selected site was organized and the terrain donated to Warka Water.


Following the agreement, a public event to celebrate the kick-off of this collaboration was organized. The Pygmy tribe, following their incredible traditional lifestyles, demonstrates how they share their respect for mother nature, the animals, and the importance of the forest to their culture. These respects and beliefs were shared through traditional song and dance, commonly emulating wildlife found within the forest. The Pygmies rely on a strong, respectful relationship with the forest. By protecting the Bibambi Forest, they not only ensure the community to have a safe place to live, but they are also preserving a unique human culture for generations to come.


The “Warka Village” site’s works started in January 2019. Initially, the given land has been cleaned out from the grass and prepared for terrain leveling and landscaping. After these preparatory activities, different traditional construction techniques have been selected, ancient local methods experimented with, people trained and teamwork formed. These ancient artisanal techniques make use of natural materials from the rainforest, which are readily available on-site, environmentally friendly, lightweight, not expensive, and extremely durable. The process of weaving natural fibers is very artisanal, and nowadays are only a few people remaining with this know-how. Reforestation activities and ecosystem restoration were also initiated.
This video is only available for the moment at the event "La Biennale di Venezia 2021", Padiglione Italia, from May 22nd to November 21st.


Following the promise made in 2018, the “Warka Village“
is under construction. Once completed it will become an integrated community designed to host 50 people and more, from the Pygmies and other local ethnic groups of Cameroon in need to live with dignity. It is occupying a surface of 5.000 m2. The “Warka Village“ will be also a cultural center of social aggregation with quality spaces. An example of how to collaborate with the local community, how to construct using indigenous techniques and local natural materials that respect the cultural identity of the place. An example of how we can live in harmony with nature. This video is only available for the moment at the event "La Biennale di Venezia 2021", Padiglione Italia, from May 22nd to November 21st.


This last episode is organized around 5 interviews of the project Partners. Biang Martin Yves, Stella Enolo, Sandro Stramare, Daniel Ondo Nze, Barbara Guassen.
This video is only available for the moment at the event "La Biennale di Venezia 2021", Padiglione Italia, from May 22nd to November 21st.

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