The Ahmadiyya movement and Humanity First in West Africa
The research focuses on the religious movement of the Ahmadiyya and the civil society organization Humanity First in three West African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal). The main questions are, how does the NGO handle internally the tension between secular and religious members and the programmatic actions, and how does the religious movement combine his explicit sense of mission with his claims of integration within the various African societies. The aim of this project is to investigate how the NGO and the religious movement manage to operate in secular-oriented states with various actors, and to overcome religious and ideological barriers. The empirical example thus builds on the theoretical discussion of the complex relationship between religion and globalization.
This project is not conceived as a local study, but as a multi-local ethnography that follows the networks of actors. Thus, the methods of anthropological field research are connected with a cross-country approach, as well as a historical perspective.
Photographies: Katrin Langewiesche, 2011, Burkina Faso.