In December last year, near the village of Meliandou in southern Guinea, a two-year-old boy was bitten by one of the fruit bats and died two days later. He was the unfortunate first victim of an Ebola outbreak that has already killed more than 3800 people marking the next steps of the virus’ devastating sweep through Guinea and across the nearby borders; threatening to wipe of Guinea Conakry population from the map of the world. Their country has in the past endured years of intertwined conflict, suffered unrest and has a poor record of human rights dating back from the slave trade era.
Guinea’s population experienced unlawful imprisonments and exiles, numerous coups over the decades, the infiltration of rebels from neighbouring war-torn countries in the 90s and protests most recently driving more people out of the country. When people die their memories die with them and for this reason the Guinean Community living in Greater Manchester is frightened that the current outbreak of Ebola that continues to claim lives across Guinea will have a devastating effect on their oral traditions and cultures.
Warm Hut UK’s project (THE NIMBA TALES) will provide the Guinean community with an opportunity to sit and reflect on the impact of migration that has been taking place across the world. This is allow them to think of alternative ways of preserving their oral traditions. It is clear that moving from one culture to another can cause instability and with this could come physical and emotional stress. Despite the different reasons why people relocate from their original homes, most individuals seek to remain connected to their roots.
THE NIMBA TALES project aims to reduce anxiety that results from losing touch with familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse while increasing the chance of successful integration into the new culture and new environment. Warm Hut UK will assist in recording stories from all parts of Guinea and present them in a creative manner. With the support of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Warm Hut UK will produce a comic book that will illustrate the Guinean traditions and culture as a way for current and future generations to have a permanent memory of their roots.