Ali SandlerFollow


Film Media

Second Major

Writing and Rhetoric


Bergstrom, Roy

Advisor Department

Film Media




film; documentary; media; capeverde; environment; sustainability

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


From July 13th to the 30th 2012, I traveled to Cape Verde through the URI faculty-led study abroad program, visiting the islands of Santiago and São Vicente. There, I focused specifically on the history and politics of Cape Verde, as well as the scientific, cultural, economic, environmental, historical, and social importance of the oceans. The main course was AAF 390 Directed Study: Documentary film production of fishing industry and environmental sustainability. With the footage acquired from the trip, I have created a documentary film that portrays the situations within the fishing communities.

Properly managing natural resources is crucial for Cape Verdeans. They must get the most use out of what little resources they have without being dependent on anyone else. The biggest resource for the archipelago of Cape Verde is the Atlantic Ocean. Because of its location, a major source of food as well employment that the islands have is fish. The fishermen of Cape Verde work diligently every day to provide food for their family, their community, as well as the rest of the country. The ocean and the fishing industry are precious aspects of the country that need protection and recognition. There are various issues throughout the nation that are hurting the fisheries. The best way to prevent the decay of the industry is through proper investment from the government and through agreements with other countries. Expansion of the industry depends on this financial investment into the maintenance of the local ships and processing plants. Negotiations with foreign markets and other fisheries will help build a better and more sustainable fishing economy.

One of the subjects of the film focuses on meeting the fishermen organization of the Artisanal Fisheries as well as ones in the community of São Tome. This is an important aspect to the film because it captures the efforts of the fishermen as they discuss their work ethic, problems, and solutions they look forward to achieving. We also spent multiple days filming the fish market and touristic fisheries in São Vicente. There, we gathered numerous interviews with the men and women selling fish as well as fishermen coming in on their boats. There is a major focus on this section of the documentary, because it depicts the working environment of the daily procedures for a variety of people in the industry.

I plan on continuing to create documentaries on subjects that promote positive social change. My documentary on the fisheries in Cape Verde sheds light on the overlooked struggles and hard work that the country is dealing with.

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