Saturday, 10. February 2007

Road blocks and emotions


Suhum, the neighbouring market town where I have my second residence, was hot the other day. A corpse was found lying near the highway to Accra – the fifth discovery since last December. And after the District Commissioner’s declaring, on the radio just a day earlier, that there was nothing serious going on in Suhum, the inhabitants reacted with great anger. They went out into the streets to let the world know that, indeed, Suhum had a serious problem. Young men erected road blocks, set them on fire and thus were able to block the entire through traffic for over five hours. At some point the police intervened with tear gas, shot one rioter into his leg and freed the highway again.


People demonstrated in Suhum because, for some time now, they felt let down by local politicians and the police. Rumour has it that ritual murders are being committed but not properly investigated. No one has come out with a full proof yet, but people make all kinds of speculations: about suspects, the murders’ circumstances, cut-off body parts, rituals, and the responsible’s possible involvements. They also speculate about the white guy (maybe a BBC reporter?!) taking pictures of burning tires and the youth singing war songs. [more]
kwame - 2007-11-06 14:26

Now that I spend most of my time doing fieldwork in Suhum, many people know that I care less about alleged serial killings, but actually more about minibus drivers and roads. In the course of the road blocks the latter became witnesses, participants and venue of the highly charged protest. That’s interesting, just as the connection between rumours and travel habits is too: Yesterday, for instance, I learned that one of my friends from Kyebi did all to get a straight bus to Accra. By all means he wanted to avoid having to change vehicles in the dangerous town of Suhum.

Experiencing the Accra-Kumasi Road (AKR):

An ethnographic project on roads, commercial driving and everyday travel in Ghana [more]

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