This text, co-authored with Nicola Scaldaferri, is a reflection on the production of the film The Sambla Baan, a documentary on the musical traditions of the Sambla people of Burkina Faso. The authors focus on the ways in which the act of making a film can constitute a form of ethnographic research in itself, as opposed to the mere representation of the results of a previous research. The role of the filmmakers as catalyst and the dialogue that can be established on the basis of rushes and recordings are brought as examples of methodologies apt at illuminating new research directions. The methodological reflection is supplemented by findings on the musical practices of the families of Sambla musicians in the village of Karankasso.
The article was published on the journal Archivio di Etnografia, as part of the special issue I edited on visual anthropology in Africa, issue 1-2 2014.