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water & neem
Dakar SENEGAL 2018

4min 48sec 

sound by Olivier Hölzl

While walking around Dakar I noticed that students buy water packed in small thin plastic bags. They would bite off a corner so that they can drink from it. When they drank enough, they used a special hand grip and tied the corner back up, that way they could save the water for later. In general I was impressed, how skilled people are with their fingers in Dakar. When I inquired about it in the store, I learned that the plastic bag filled with water is a fraction of the cost compared to the bottled water prices. However the store owner warned me that as a European person I would prefer to buy bottled water rather than the plastic bagged one because it is simply filtered tap water. The people of Dakar are used to it but it can cause those that are not used to the tap water to become sick. As I watched the sun shine on the plastic bag water, I decided to get 10 of them. I liked the irregular reflection of light due to the unevenness of the thin plastic. It also had a magnifying effect on the writings of the plastic surface. I wanted to use it for my next video. I had also observed some Senegalese people chewing on small branches. In many African countries, people rely on dental care directly from nature. To clean their teeth, they help themselves to the branches of the neem tree. The thin branches of the tree are broken off and the bark is removed from the end of the twigs with a knife. The wood is then chewed until individual fibers are formed. This releases juices that have an antibacterial and disinfectant effect and prevent inflammation of the mouth and throat. I am also told that chewing strengthens the jaw muscles and strengthens the roots of the teeth. The bristle-like fibers of the branch, much like the fibers of the toothbrush head, are used to clean the spaces between the teeth.

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