The Border Game
As part of The War You Don’t See project, I am currently developing a game that is intended to educate young people about the history of (pre- and post-colonial) borders in Africa and how they affect our movement within the continent. The game animates the borders that divide Africa, making it possible for players to explore and experience the different ways travel and movement is restricted or limited for Africans on their own continent.
The game is intended for general and school use.
The initial phase of the game was developed this May in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where I took part in a writer’s residency programme organised by The Goethe-Institut.
I went there with the intention of writing a play about the same theme for a young audience, but the task took an interesting twist, instead of writing about the issue I became more and more interested in activating the audience to not only think about the theme but to act on it. I began to experiment with different ways I could activate the audience to be a part of this (re)imagination. The result of the experimentation was that I walked away from the residency not with a play, but a game. The game takes as its starting premise, a seemingly, simple question: where are Africans allowed to go – visa free – on their own continent? The outcome is a game that animates these colonial and post-colonial borders that divide Africa and allows the players to experience how the borders limit their movements on the continent.
The game exposes the player to Africa’s transformation from its pre-colonial to the now post-colonial borders. After playing the game, the players are invited to discuss and (re)imagine, 1) what a post-post-colonial Africa could look like, 2) and how Africans should be allowed to move in it.
For school use, an educational resource pack is being developed that will enable teachers to use the game as a starting point in activating their pupils to learn about the history of Africa’s borders.
The concept of the game has been fully developed, and now I am working on the prototype that will be launched in the near future. If you’d like to follow the developments of the game or be notified when the prototype is being launched, please get in touch.
Potential collaborators are also welcome to make themselves known to me! ❤️
Looking forward to sharing this beautiful project with you! 😊