As part of archaeological research, researchers proposed to the inhabitants of Bitchabé, a small village in the north of Togo, to work a mass of raw iron according to ancient techniques. Bitchabé iron was once renowned for its quality, but the particular practice of making it disappeared in the middle of the 20th century. Generous, the inhabitants accept the challenge of this journey, which proves to be both scientific and identity-building. Step by step, forgotten gestures are found again, the tools of the past come back to life, the elders remember and pass on to the younger ones. Retracing the evolution of ancient techniques, this documentary plunges us into the unprecedented experience of a rediscovered know-how.
Directors: Caroline Robion-Brunner (CNRS Laboratoire TRACES), Marie-Pierre Coustures (Université Jean Jaurès, Laboratoire TRACES), Zouhair Fartahi (ENSAV)
Film documentaire sur les techniques anciennes de forge du Nord du Togo