From Basin to Upland: Exploring Socio-cultural Change in West African Village life in Bui Dam Resettlement Township


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies


Beginning from the mid-twentieth century, development projects that cause displacement and forced resettlement have disrupted lives and the social world of displaced persons. In Ghana, the planning and development of the Bui Dam project by the Ghanaian Government required resettlement of three communities that had lived in the flood basin. This proposed project (From PhD Thesis to Book) aims at investigating how resettlement process has influenced socio-cultural change in the resettlement township. It argues that the ideas of Global Connections (Stahl, 2016, Stahl, 2015, Stahl and Lagan 2014, Stahl, 2001, Stahl, 1999) more adequately explains the complex historical and contemporary conditions that have reshaped daily life of resettlers than Routine and Dissonant Cultural theory (Downing and Garcia-Downing, 2009), which accounts for how resettlement disturbs everyday cultural practices. The project deploys a participatory ethnographic filmmaking approach in recording lived experience of Bui Dam resettlers. The outcomes of this book project including an ethnographic documentary film, From Basin to Upland (Adjartey 2019b), are expected to contribute knowledge to the anthropology of forced resettlement in Ghana and beyond.