The documentary explores the contact zones between African rituals of possession among traditional fishing villages of the Atlantic coast of Senegal and the emergence of new technology frontiers known as artificial intelligence.

The film extensively delves in traditional ritual ceremonies of exorcism for possessed individuals among the Lebou people who are known to be very devout moslems yet, at the same time, still faithful to their traditional beliefs and practices. All over the West African coast from Liberia, Sierra Leone to the Gambia and Senegal, the waters of the ocean are believed to be home to so many tutelary spiritual powers such as Mammy Wata, Maam Kumba Lamba, Maam Kumba Bang etc…. Performing rituals to restore the necessary balance between spirits and humans is a common practice among the people of the sea.

As the author of the documentary aptly puts it Africa could well be “the context of emergence of AI algorithms” that would transcend bare rationality.

The screening was attended by 18 people who contributed to the ensuing discussions

Photo: Professor Diawara engaging the audience