The aim of this project was to deconstruct the myth of African emigration and question the possibilities these newcomers can find in Europe. The first step in doing so was to conduct thorough research about Africa in general to find information about African migration in the last years and life conditions in Africa. Most of this information, we recorded in a documentary video. The next step in deconstructing the existing stereotype was to carry an interview with an African that could provide us first-hand information about their home country, immigration policies and compare life in Europe and Africa based on a personal experience. Although we were not lucky at first, we eventually found Aliou Sylla, a Senegalese who has been living in Spain since 2003. He helped us more than any article, documentary or piece of news could ever have, as he was sensible and honest to an extent that is difficult to find in many people. After having interviewed Aliou, the remaining thing to do was to find more information about Senegal to complete everything he had shared with us. His ideas and experiences helped us complete the fictional short story in which we compare African and European lifestyles in the 21st century.
All in all, we have been able to find evidence to our initial theories. It is possible to live in Africa nowadays, especially if we invest to improve life-conditions there. Aliou spoke of his life in Africa as a successful one in terms of jobs, family and social involvement and he admitted his wish to return to Senegal in some years. He also mentioned some of his siblings living and working in Senegal, which probably would not be the case if they had seen such a magnificent improvement in their brothers’ lives abroad. Furthermore, the myth that large amounts of African people are coming here to ‘occupy something which is not theirs’ has been proved false, as many of them are migrating inside the African continent. These African migratory movements show people rather stay in Africa as well.
To conclude, with this project we also realised how difficult it is to remain objective and impartial when carrying such a research project. Even though, as Aliou himself said, we had a broad vision of reality, at times we had to reanalyse our questions and writings so that they were in no way judgemental or presenting a stereotypical vision of the African continent. Therefore, this project has not only allowed us to present a different reality about Africa, but also helped us to overcome many preconceived ideas about the continent which proved to be false.
Isabel Flaquer Beltrán
Sílvia Pérez Carro
Mireia Trejo Domingo
Ada Guiteras Canal
Eva Puyuelo Ureña