By Giselle Willis
TITAN, the University of Tulsa’s Institute of Trauma, Adversity, and INjustice, has sponsored interdisciplinary courses in Ghana in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
77 Adjoa, Nojo, Nopu by photographer Nikki Hager, is one image that will be for sale at Thursday’s event.
By sending more students this summer, the group hopes to continue its investment in the TU community in Ghana.
To raise funds for the trip, TITAN will screen “The Witches of Gambaga,” a film about Ghanaian witch camps at 7 pm Feb. 13 and 17 at Circle Cinema.
Specifically, the group will use “half of the ticket sales … to assist TU students in designing, building, and installing a power-generating playground at the Maranatha Power School and to begin various projects at the Favour Preparatory School,” in Ghana, according to a press release.
The movie shares stories of women condemned to witch camps in northern Ghana. TU student Nikki Hager’s photographs of women and children living in the camps will be on sale during the event.
Hand-made Ghanaian jewelry will also be for sale at the Circle Cinema.
The women who made it will be paid “four times the average daily wage,” and “in addition to helping support schools in Ghana, each piece of jewelry purchased will provide a Ghanaian family with an insecticide-treated mosquito net.”
Dr. Joanne Davis, co-director of TITAN and Director of Trauma Research at TU, said it was important to know about witch camps in Ghana because “the witch camps represent another example of trauma and injustice for women and children.”
Davis explained that “the women may be accused of witchcraft for any number of reasons, and their fate rests with the manner in which a chicken falls when it dies,” adding that “it is a complicated situation mired in religious beliefs and traditional ways of life.”
Davis believes that “there are many instances of injustice around the world that are not widely known about; this is one example.”
Additionally, she said the government of Ghana “is currently wrestling with the question of what to do about the witch camps,” but finds it difficult to simply close them because “there is nowhere for the women to go. Most of them face the threat of death if they return to their villages.”
Davis and TITAN members hope that “The Witches of Ghana” will help bring attention to the issue.