Om Layoun, or The Mother of Sources, is a documentary film (feature film) which aims to open a societal debate, in Tunisia and elsewhere, on the absolute and urgent need to better manage the available water resources, through the adoption of new economic models oriented towards more water, ecological, social, intergenerational and economic justice.
The film is built on a simple idea: Water is a common good for all of humanity, access to which, up to the needs, is a fundamental human right which should not suffer from any prerequisite. As a necessary condition for biological and social life, water must in no way be considered as a marketable commodity, as is the case today.
This is what Om Layoun will try to demonstrate, discuss and defend by showing situations of scandalous waste and / or shocking privations induced by the internal mechanisms of the water market and, more generally, by the dominating extractivist economy.
Furthermore, the film Om Layoun aims to demonstrate that if all the water on earth will never be enough to make all the deserts of the world bloom, the water available would be more than enough to cover all human and economic needs, as long as it is no longer considered a commodity subject to accumulation, privatization and marketing. Thus, the film will defend the idea that the scarcity of water, often put forward as an argument for neo-liberal governance, is induced by the dominant economic model and not a natural fact ...
Deprivation, thirst, scarcity, lack ... do not in any way come from the sky but from the will of the "princes" who are the holders of water resources and who use it as a means of enrichment here or as a power tool there.
Morever, the problem of water is not unrelated to that, much more global, of climate change, the direct effects of which are already being seen on the rhythms of rainfall and droughts. Prolonged droughts are followed by severely rainy episodes. In both cases, the conditions of access to water for human consumption or production are disturbed.
It is this complex set of representations and (factual) evidence that Om Layoun aims to show, defend and disseminate. Shot in Tunisia, for practical reasons, Om Layoun will start from the local to tackle the global and will use many "Tunisian" situations to discuss the problem in its diversity and complexity which go far beyond national borders.
Director: Habib Ayeb
My name is Habib Ayeb and I was born in a small troglodyte village called Demmer and located on the arid mountains of Jebel Demmer, in the South East of Tunisia. In this village, the inhabitants had accumulated for generations an extraordinarily rich and varied set of skills which had enabled them to exploit extremely rare natural resources (less than 100 mm of rain per year) and to live on the spot in a obvious harmony with the environment, the climate and the scarce resources. The olive tree constitutes its main wealth and some olive trees, sometimes several centuries old, can still produce up to 500 liters of oil per year.
It was in this village that I grew up in a very poor family. The hazards of life and a lot of chances have allowed me to get out of poverty and have a very rich itinerary.
Agriculture technician, hydrology engineer and social-geographer specialized in rural and environmental issues, I have always been politically engaged for social, environmental, climate and economic justice. Among many initiatives and actions, my political commitment was at the origin of the foundation in 2017, with other activists, of the Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment - OSAE (Tunisian association: www.osae-marsad.org)
Among other means and tools, and in addition to academic publications, I use image and video to promote and defend the causes in which I believe. Om-Layoun that I am currently making is my sixth documentary film after five others, four of which are freely available on the internet:
Ayeb H., (2017) Couscous: The Seeds of Dignity. 62 minutes. Inside Prod*** Available online:
FR -> https://osae-marsad.org/2020/01/24/couscous-les-graines-de-la-dignite/
EN -> https://osae-marsad.org/2020/01/24/couscous-seeds-of-dignity/
IT -> https://osae-marsad.org/2020/01/27/couscous-i-semi-della-dignita/
Ayeb, H., (2014), Gabes Labess. Documentary. 47mn. Amaru (France) and 5/5 (Tunisia) Productions. 47 Minutes. http://athimar.org/articles/details/gabes-labess-all-is-well-in-gabes
Ayeb H., Bush, R. (2014), Fellahin. Documentary. 39mn. http://athimar.org/articles/details/fellahin
Ayeb H., Kamel N., (2012), Green Mirages. Documentary. 45 Minutes. http://athimar.org/articles/details/green-mirage-mirages-verts
Ayeb H., Archambeau O., (2003), On the banks of the Nile; shared water. Documentary. 46 minutes. Juin 2003. http://www.doc2geo.fr/visionner/sur-les-bords-du-nil-l-eau-en-partage
Allocation of funds
The first step of making the film is almost complete, after almost a year of shooting and more than 10,000 kilometers across the whole country. With several tens of hours of recorded / filmed material, the harvest is very promising. This allows us to move on to the post-production phase, which includes video editing, illustration, animation, sound editing, color correction, designs, credits, original musical composition, and a few other details.
In order to be able to complete post-production and share this documentary, we are trying to collect €11,800.
The overall budget for the documentary is around €35,000. It is made up of four different phases:
- Preparation (research, writing, preparation, small equipment ...): €6,000
- Shooting (interviews, landscape videos, photos, audio recordings, archives): €12,000
- Post-Production: €11,800
- First screenings, national and international festivals ...: €5000
The first two phases (preparation and filming) were financed by the director, direct individual contributions, and OSAE** (Observatory of Food Sovereignty and the Environment): A total of around € 18,000
The phase 3 (post-prod): Current collect : €11,800
Phase 4 will be handled by Inside Prod*** and OSAE**.
***Inside Prod: www.inside-prod.com/couscous/