Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1965 • 28 minutes
As West African cities faced explosive growth in the 1960s, young people found themselves displaced, living in urban centers far from their families and home regions.
Enter the goumbés—youth associations combining networking, mutual aid, and a healthy dose of fun.
In this short film by Jean Rouch, we meet the Goumbé of Young Revelers, an Ivory Coast group whose bylaws include requirements for monthly parades, writing songs and coming up with new dance moves. The film deftly moves between club meetings and the daily lives of goumbé members—a longshoreman, a tailor, a clerk—providing a snapshot of life in Abidjan and culminating with a celebratory music and dance filled “meeting.”