Essential Cinema presented a screening of Idrissou Mora-Kpai’s Arlit, dieuxième Paris which investigates the environmental racism associated with uranium extraction in Mali. Once a vibrant “second Paris” from migrants from different parts of Africa, Arlit became an empty town where residents die of radiation poisoning when the uranium market crashed. Following the screening, Mora-Kpai spoke from nearly an hour with NYUAD faculty and students about issues raised in the films, including the Malian government’s complicity with European companies in promoting extraction as a mode of progress, French denial of responsibility for endangering the lives of miners by providing false diagnoses in the modern hospitals that it finances, and the political turmoil that now makes Arlit inaccessible. The events and the historical context of Arlit was covered by Ivy Akinyi in The Gazelle.
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