In the summer of 2014, a young Maasai girl reached a woman shepherd in the Italian Maritime Alps. Two women from different worlds, in terms of skin, age and language, lived together a season of pastrolism, sharing their job and their stories.
In Maasai, Ilmurrán means “warriors”. It is a term which could be only conjugated in the masculine form. Our project is offering a different interpretation of that word. Leah and Silvia, female warriors, are fighting a battle which is concerning all of us. The role of the woman, the relationship with animals and wild spaces, the struggle of resistance of cultural minorities are the main topics in our project.
Ilmurrán project is self-produced, by the Cultural Association “Geronimo Carbonò”, with the support of “Ecomuseo della Segale di Valdieri (CN)”, Damilano Experience Car and other crowdfunders.
The contents of this story originate from “routes” and “roots”.
A mountain as a green desert where is possible to meet separate lives, held together by an ancestral time.
ENCHIKUNYE is a movie entirely about "Maasai" - African and Italian - chasing the boundaries of the stereotype and seeking the essence of a nomadic people. A film in which the perspectives are flipped. The traditional cheese is made from black hands, while a linguistic minority (speaking “kjé”) is observed by a Maasai focus. Old values are overpassing the barriers of space and time, in order to testify a possible universal brotherhood.
We need metaphors, we need above all to “think simple”.
What could be more simple and strong that a gradual, natural empathy between these two very different women?
Faced with Leah and Silvia, we just want to sit down and listen.
We need to sit down and listen.
The publication of a book appeared necessary along the process.
During our season in the mountain, living with Silvia and Leah, the story became an intense experience of life. The image was used to capture imperceptible contents that needed to be reconsidered in the silence of a tent in the night.
The book is the diary of a journey that lasted two years, which brought two strangers to stir energies and bureaucracies, to bring together people in a feeling of brotherhood glimpsed in a chat suspended in the African sky.
The book also aims to make public the main testimonies collected in the mountains, which for technical reasons have been excluded from the film.
The text also includes two useful contributions to understand the contexts of action.
Kepha Ngito, a Kenyan writer, describes the different perceptions in contemporary African generations, while Nicola Duberti, linguist and dialect poet, describes the historical features of the Kjé linguistic minority in the Maritime Alps.
Born in 1990 (according to documents, 1989) on the border between Kenya and Tanzania, Leah belongs to a traditional Maasai family.
She spent her childhood in the serenity of community life, learning the rudiments of a collective movement. Soon, however, Leah refused a common destiny for young girls which is written by traditional rules, and she undertook the way of education.
The term Ilmurrán doesn’t have feminine noun in Maasai language, yet Leah is a warrior, in the truest sense of the term. She fights for her people the most difficult battle, against some archaic practices that could bring to the ultimate extinction of the Maasai culture.
After her experience in the Alps, Leah got a scholarship from the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Slow Food. She currently lives and study in Bra.
Silvia is the eldest of a family of shepherds. Since 1964 she brings her cattle in the Meris Valley, located in the territory of the Natural Park of the Maritime Alps.
The world of pastoralism in the Alps is a predominantly a male environment; however, Silvia brakes this balance.
The presence of Silvia is a space of generous and courageous humanity in a semi-desert valley. An alpine hut, in the two middle months of the season Alpine, is his only support. Among the years she transmitted her passion to her son Simone, who now represents the last link of a long chain.
Born in 1986. He studied and lived in Lithuania, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Germany.
Author of documentaries and shorts, in 2012 he published a book about the Colombian politician and philosopher Antanas Mockus. He is PhD candidate in Migration and Intercultural Processes at the University of Genoa, and one of the founders of the Cultural Association Geronimo Carbonò.
He is currently carrying out the journalistic research project Agritools, about the use of new technologies in the agricultural sector in Senegal, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
di Giulia Zanello. La storia della 25enne kenyota Leah, da Nairobi a Gemona per seguire i corsi del Lab. «Amo il vostro Paese, ma il continente nero ha bisogno che i suoi figli tornino a casa»...Leggi
di Carlo Petrini. La storia di Leah Lekanayia, ragazza ventiseienne keniana, del popolo dei Maasai, è un classico esempio di come il 'fare rete' e costruire connessioni tra posti, persone e luoghi lontani possa talvolta aprire scenari inaspettati...Leggi
di Muriel Bria. Leah Lekanayla, maasai keniana, e Silvia Somà, bergera monregalese: sono le due protagoniste del progetto “Il murràn. Maasai in the Alps”, curato da Sandro Bozzolo con l’associazione Geronimo Carbonò con il contributo di Banco Azzoaglio e Sloww Food...Leggi
di Antonella Sinopoli. Cos’hanno in comune una giovane masai e una “pastora” delle Alpi? Per saperlo, la giovane masai e la bergera dovrebbero avere la possibilità di incontrarsi, scambiarsi esperienze, imparare a conoscersi. Sembra impossibile o perlomeno irrealistico. Eppure è accaduto. Ed è diventato un film...Leggi
A project by Associazione Culturale Geronimo Carbonò
Leah N. Lekanayia
Din Don Luperia
Francesco Di Meglio
Editing e sound design
Marco Lo Baido
Associazione Culturale Geronimo Carbonò
Parco Alpi Marittime – Ecomuseo della Segale (CN)
Damilano Experience Car
and 25 crowdfunfers:
Rifugio Livio Bianco di Valdieri (CN)
I.S.S. “G. Baruffi di Ceva (CN)
Leonardo e Giorgio C. Briata
Adriano Filippi Farmar
Rifugio Questa – Flavio Poggio
AOS – Atti O Scene in luogo pubblico
Chiara Di Meglio