The Tide People

by Paolo Barberi and Riccardo Russo

Hidden within the West-African Mangroves, the Balanta people first stood up to slave traders and then freed their country from the Portuguese colonists, in the last African liberation war, giving birth to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau in 1974.

During this long history of resistance, forced to put up with the ocean tides, they pushed back the sea to gain agricultural land in order to survive. They created the mangrove rice farming system, inventing a sustainable technology that is unique in the world and allows them to blend seawater and freshwater to fertilise the ground.

This technique enabled them to be self-sufficient in food production for centuries.

Today their last and hardest fight is that against the monoculture corporations, which threaten their local agriculture, their food sovereignty.