La Lutte, sneeuw en zand

La Lutte, snow and sand

Documentary roadmovie to Dakar. About a wrestler, an organizer and a filmer in Senegal's culture drenched with voodoo rituals.
out of €8.500
Project is closed.

About the project


Marlijn Franken


Reinier de Nooijer








45 supporters

Ask the filmmaker a question
This will be the craziest thing I ever did!
- John Harald Foss Fjeldbu

This documentary roadmovie is about the wish of John, a wrestler from the Norwegian national team to participate in La Lutte, traditional Senegalese wrestling. With the help of Amsterdam artist and filmmaker Marlijn and her partner Reinier John will jump into this amazing African adventure.

The wrestler, the filmer and the organizer; this film tells a story about the three of us. His wish, her film idea, his Afrika; will they realize their wishes? The filmmaker follows the developments from the very first beginning. It will be clear that we will end up in Dakar, but shall we succeed in getting John into the arena? To be continued.

But even the main ingredients are interesting: the ambitious sportsman, the entourage of a sport soaked with voodoo, our stay in the middle of dynamic Medina neighbourhood in the artists house of 'our sister' Koura, the differences of culture which we will have to conquer...

This is going to be an adventure, a curious quest of these 3 people within a completely different culture. So it won't be a typical sport film. Idea is that it will be attractive for anyone interested in interhuman exchange, in other cultures, in the meaning of voodoo in dayly Senegalese life and of course the fascinating event which is La Lutte, which goes on for hours and hours and which contains apart from the sport a lot of "theatre", music and rituals.

Marlijn and Reinier stayed 2x / 3x in Dakar during a month for art presentations in a rented little house in a working class neighbourhood or an african artist hostel in the Medina. They feel at home in Dakar, they speak the language and have useful contacts there. Suddenly a Norwegian wrestler calls with this completely weird plan of his. He comes to Amsterdam, there is a 'click'. But...he does not speak a word French and has no idea how to realize his wish. But we do! So we decide to work together, to collaborate!

In 2009 Marlijn was captivated by La Lutte and the whole 'circus' coming with it; the beautiful warriors with their protecting voodoo things, the superenthousiastic crowd of fans. Fascinating and, yes a bit scary. She made a YouTube video in the arena at the end of our street in the Medina. Now we look back at amateur footage. This is our chance to register the whole event from within at a much higher level. 

Please follow us! Stay tuned by liking and sharing our page La Lutte in Dakar.

Without your support we can't make this movie. We need money for travel- and stay expenses, local transport, use of equipment, participation at a wrestling school, license to compete in an arena, etc. We ask support in the Netherlands as well as in Norway through Cinecrowd. Also we contacted Fighter, the Norwegian producer of John's  sport tight for support. If we will receive more than our target amount we will gratefully use it to further professionalise the movie. Think of sound mixing, color grading etc.




Cast and crew

John Harald Foss Fjeldbu | the wrestler

John started wrestling when he was 9 years old. He won a lot of (inter)national wrestling championships: Greek-Roman-, belt-, grappling- and sumo wrestling. In Norway wrestling at top level is an amateur sport so John has a second life as a security guard and a railway builder at the at the Norwegian railroad company. 

After watching an old YouTube video of Marlijn he was inspired to once participate himself at La Lutte so he contacted Marlijn. He came to Amsterdam, there was a click so now we have a common goal!


Marlijn Franken | camera, director, editor

Marlijn is an Amsterdam artist and filmmaker. Her documentary shortfilms and lyrical poetic art video's  have been selected by (inter)national shortfilm festivals, exhibitions and museums (Brazil, Benin, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, England etc.)   As a filmmaker she works alone with a small pro HD videocamera and existing light. Her artists eye is an extra in her work. Marlijn: "being an artist you look different". Regularly she does collab projects with (inter)national artists from other disciplines.

 Apart from her free work she makes video in order  (Amsterdam Museum, Byzantine Museum in Athens, Royal Talens, Stalhouderij Zadelhoff and individuals). It seldom happens that Marlijn stages a scene; she thinks reality is already too weird and interesting. Keeping on being surprised by reality, about what is; an everlasting source of inspiration!

 Website film:

Website art:


Reinier de Nooijer | producer

Reinier, Marlijn's partner, is a very much needed person in this project. He is the organizer, the one who will arrange the most unlikely things.






These three people have something important in common: a never ending enthousiasm, The strengh to never give up, the wish to succeed! Combining these capacities they will realize their plan.

Fally Sene Sow | visual artist, Dakar

We know Fally since 2011. He showed his work in Gallery 23 in Amsterdam. Like earlier West-African artists on request of the galleryhe stayed with us those 3 weeks. Fally contacted us with his friend Kalissa Cissé.




Kalissa Cissé | organisator La Lutte events Dakar

Young and eager organisator of La Lutte events. He organised a succesful event in a La Lutte stadium, got into a big newspaper and on national tv with it. Now he is busy organising a La Lutte Gala for John. He is busy finding investors in Dakar.




Kris van der Hart | concept&copy trailer

Kris is an Amsterdam publicity maker with a passion for film. He created the concept for our trailer. For this project he collaborates with Marlijn and Reinier as our communication man, intern as well as extern.




Gonny Gaakeer | voice-over trailer

Gonny, actress and theatre maker, works in the Netherlands and Germany. She did thevoice-over (NL and E) for our trailer.





Update #06

De vliegtickets zijn gekocht; we gaan 5 t/m 16 juni naar Dakar! Wij houden jullie op de hoogte van het vervolg. Hoe dan ook gaat de film gemaakt worden.

We bought our tickets, we will be in Dakar from 5-16th of June 2014 to shoot the film! We will keep you informed .

De stand is 90%. Veel dank aan onze donateurs! Ken je nog iemand die mee wil doen, graag. We zetten de eindsprint in. Nog 2 dagen te gaan..

We are at 90% now. Many thanks to our donators! If you happen to know someone know where to find us. Another 2 days to go..Thanks!

10 April 2014 10:40
Door Marlijn
Update #05

(On)mogelijkheden bekijken en afwegen met Kalissa, de enthousiaste La Lutte promotor uit Dakar. Regelmatig belt Reinier en overleggen we via Facebook. 

Checking the (im)possibilities with Kalissa, the eager La Lutte promotor from Dakar. These days we have a lot to discuss. By telephone or by Facebook.

31 March 2014 14:43
Door Marlijn
Update #04

Uit ons 'reward program' | From our 'reward program':

Wij jij ook zo'n mooie tas, handgemaakt door Marlijn Franken? Je bemachtigt er een als je meedoet aan ons project door ons te ondersteunen. Zie ons aantrekkelijke 'reward program'.

Do you like this handmade bag by Marlijn Franken? You can get one by joining and supporting our project. Please check our attractive reward program.

In 2009 raapten Marlijn en Reinier in Dakar, Afrikaanse miljoenenstad waar drinkwater niet uit de kraan komt, vele gebruikte plastic drinkwaterzakjes van straat, wasten en droogden ze. Behalve de kunstprojecten "l'Eau c'est la Vie / Water = Life" die Marlijn er eerder mee deed (onderste foto) is er voldoende over om zo'n handgemaakte tas van te maken! Deze twee tassen zijn voorbeelden, gemaakt met zakjes uit Benin (blaus) en Togo (rood).

In 2008 Marlijn and Reinier were in Dakar, an African megacity without safe tap water. They collected many, many used plastic drinkwater bags from the street, washed and dried them. After Marlijn's earlier projects "l'Eau c'est la Vie / Water = Life" with these bags (photo under) there is enough left to make some new Dakar bags. These two bags are exemples, made of bags from Benin (blue) and Togo (red).



21 March 2014 8:44
Door Marlijn
Update #03

Onze mannen in Dakar,  toegevoegd aan de crew (zie daar). We hebben regelmatig contact met ze per telefoon, email en sms. Ook daar wordt hard gewerkt.

Fally Sene Sow, beeldend kunstenaar in Dakar, kennen we sinds 2011. Hij exposeerde bij Galerie 23 in Amsterdam en zoals eerdere West-Afrikaanse kunstenaars logeerde hij die drie weken bij ons, op verzoek van de galerie. Via Fally komen we in contact met een vriend van hem: Kalissa Cisse (foto rechts), beginnend organisator van La Lutte events in Dakar. Hij organiseerde onlangs een succesvol event in een La Lutte stadion in Dakar en kwam ermee in de krant en op de nationale tv. Voor John wil hij nu een La Lutte Gala organiseren. Hij is al bezig de financiering daarvoor in Dakar rond te krijgen.

Sms van Kalissa. Bellen, mailen, sms-en. 


14 March 2014 23:23
Door Marlijn
Update #02

Plantage Etalage In januari was de Plantage Etalage ( t/o Artis mijn domein met "If Only.."  en "Into the Woods" als video-installatie. Beide werken ontstonden in samenwerking met Studio Nepco. Eind 2014 mag ik opnieuw de etalage vullen.

"Into The Woods" maakte in januari deel uit van ACTIVA'14, een audio/video expositie in Oviedo, Spanje. De intrigerende muziek is van Amerikaans componist / multi media artist Jared C. Balogh. In de zomer kom ik er terug met "If Only..", waarbij Studio Nepco ook de muziek voor hun rekening nam! "Into the Woods" reist wat af! Begin maart draait ie in Oslo, eind maart in Regensburg (Dld.) in een speciaal dichters programma.EYE Tijdens het Museumweekend: 5/6 april 13:00 heeft EYE een speciaal kortfilm programma waarin mijn "Surprise in Amsterdam Red Light District" wordt getoond. Tijdens de Q&A wordt de trailer van La Lutte vertoond en zal er aandacht voor zijn.

Uncooked Culture TV, een initiatief van Bert Schoonhoven van Amsterdam Outsider Art. 27 maart  op Salto 1 vanaf 23:00 een uur "Marlijn TV", ook te zien in Rotterdam en Maastricht. Beeldmateriaal genoeg om een spannend programma te vullen. 

The Oneminutes 23 maart om 16:00 Goethe Instituut A'dam, presentatie dvd "Unseen behind the Facades" en kick-off van de site met alle oneminute video's in dit kader. Ik ben met 9 items een beetje oververtegenwoordigd op de dvd met 24 items. Een initiatief van The Oneminutes / Sandberg Instituut en Amsterdam Museum.

La Lutte, Zand en Sneeuw heet mijn nieuwe grote project. Een documentaire roadmovie naar Dakar. Een worstelaar, een filmmaker en een regelaar in de met voodoo rituelen doordrenkte Senegalese cultuur. Denk aan Romeinse gladiatoren. Spektakel. Sinds 3 maart jl. zijn we online met ons crowdfunding traject bij Cinecrowd. Een groot avontuur. 11% is de stand nu. Jullie hulp hebben we hard nodig. Heb je niets met worstelen? Dan wellicht de insteek van de queeste; gaat het John, Reinier en Marlijn lukken daar in Dakar? Heb je niets met Afrika? Dan blijft vast de gunfactor over:-) Help mij, help ons naar Dakar. Kijk op Alle beetjes helpen!

bellen met Dakar

14 March 2014 15:17
Door Marlijn
Update # 01

La Lutte, Senegalese wrestling - by Martin Waalboer

Training session at the Balla Gaye wrestling school in Dakar, Senegal. Balla Gaye was the old champion. Balla Gaye 2, his son, is the current champion.

Martin Waalboer is a Dutch photographer, based in Amsterdam but working worldwide. Since 2008 he works in several west-african countries. His work has been exhibited internationally. Newspapers and magazines published his series (coverages and portraits). We are grateful Marin gave us permission to show his photos on this site.


4 March 2014 22:40
Door Marlijn
0 6

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