When the government of Burkina Faso starts to issue mining permits in 2000, gold fever strikes. In 2008, a British mining company starts the first open-pit mine in Kalsaka, digging away the soil that's vital to the villagers’ lives.
It's not long before the first kilogram of gold has been mined, from a reserve of at least 18 metric tons. The people of Kalsaka are promised mountains of gold: jobs for the villagers, scholarships for their children, money for the government coffers, and development aid for the next 10 years. But six years later, all that has happened is that mountains of gold have been taken from them, and they are left with nothing but polluted land. “We were ignorant,” say the mayor, village elders and farmers. Now they're no longer naïve—they're seeking justice.
Western elements such as a whistled tune reminiscent of Ennio Morricone’s film music, hoofbeats and a lyrical town crier add force to this tale of good and evil. Burkina Faso means “land of the honest people,” but in this story, it’s dishonesty and injustice that play the leading role.