Accountable to the Land

Aude Tollo



This project examines accountability in the context of the contemporary Gold Trade between Burkina Faso and Switzerland. It seeksto explore the spatial condition that the colonial phenomenon ofextraction creates in both territories, as well as how the current paradigm of extraction and accumulation helped to nurture the mythof Switzerland as an "exceptional" and "neutral" state.In speaking about gold, the conversation extends to the smeltingof the material, which further abstracts mining operations and itseffects.In the context of Burkina Faso, we will speculate in order to reclaim our poten-tial, we will borrow from indigenous cosmology. We seek an alternative way to perceive "matter" in order to create justice and accountability that values the healing of the land and of the people inhabiting it. This could serve as a chal-lenge to the colonial economy of extraction and the marketisation of the land, as trade relations inevitably disrupted the architecture of the land and the way people relate to the environment and to one another. We deeply believe that it is out of new ways of relating to one another that new worlds are born.

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