Short animated film based on an old Senegalese true story from 1820. 'Woman of Waalo' is a story about self-determination.

'Women of Waalo' is a history of resistance. The Queen and Princesses of Waalo were acclaimed as strong leaders, governors and judges and called Linguères. In 1820, on the verge of being kidnapped during a massive, surprise attack by Arabian slave traders, the women of Waalo chose to remain masters of their own fate and committed suicide collectively, by self-immolation. This supreme act has become a national symbol of self-determination and it still speaks emphatically to the imagination of Senegalese people today.


The old baobab tree, ‘Guy Galla’ (beautiful lady) witnessed the original horror and functions as a powerful bridge between past and present in the film; a storyteller and a silent source of collective knowledge.




Production: Crossroads Docs
Scenario: Fiona van Heemstra

Art work: Machteld Aardse

Animation: Hanneke van der Linden

Research & idea: Aida Grovestins

Sound: Assane Thiam & Julien Grossmann


GUM, group exhibition, De Cacaofabriek Helmond, 2018
Dropstuff, Public Space,  Eindhoven, Amersfoort,  Hilversum - http://dropstuff.nl/project/de-baobabboom/
NBF at Lab 111 Amsterdam

Webster University Leiden

The Bookstore Project, Amsterdam

Studio Aardse, Amsterdam



Drawings made on location in Waalo (the Norhtern part of Senegal) and animated for the film, will be used to visualize the historical tale of the Princesses of Waalo.


Analogue and digital means are used to create the animations.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WomenOfWaalo/

Twitter: QLP / WomenofWaalo@WomenofWaalo