Segments in this Video

Desert Mining (02:49)


A bus arrives in Arlit and transports men to SOMAIR mine.

Community Profits? (03:42)

Tuaregs receive no benefits from the SOMAIR mine. A man states that the ground near Arlit is rich in uranium. A Tuareg discusses the mine's location.

Inside Arlit (03:11)

A resident remembers when Arlit was a prospering city. See residents in the marketplace and walking city streets.

Valuable Friendship (02:12)

An Arlit resident recalls moving to the city in 1968 and receiving help from Alhadji.

Opportunities (03:32)

Alhadji recalls working for HANNIBAL and then hiring on with SOMAIR. An Arlit resident gives a tour of his home and reflects on how it used to look.

Melting Pot (02:50)

A resident recalls when 25,000 workers lived in Arlit. A Tuareg never saw Arlit's prosperity but he became involved with the Tuareg rebellion in the city.

Changing Perspectives (01:38)

A Tuareg recalls joining the army when the rebels were integrated. He left the army and now transports people across the desert.

Destiny in Arlit? (04:09)

An Arlit resident does not care if he dies; his motto is "Forward." A man recounts his journey around the mountains and his troubles in Niger.

No Work in Niger (03:37)

Residents discuss leaving Arlit to find work versus staying and waiting to die, and transporting illegal immigrants.

Small Business (02:17)

Amadou discusses his mechanic business; many customers are smugglers. See images from inside Arlit.

"2nd Dump" (02:07)

A resident discusses the lack of restaurants in Arlit and the city's former prosperity. He discusses his current employment.

Arlit Restaurant (03:28)

Two women work in a drink stall, but they have nothing left to serve customers. They have only been in Arlit for a week; they plan to return to Togo.

Struggling to Survive (02:15)

A woman at the drink stall discusses her family in Togo. She tries to find work away and sends money or clothing when she can.

Rich Promises (03:21)

See derelict mining equipment around Arlit. Residents recall working in the quarries without understanding the radiation risks and believing Arlit would become a second Paris.

Asthma (02:53)

A former miner recalls having medical check-ups and being told he was fine; friends became ill and died. He returned to Benin but radiation sickness manifested anyway.

Radiation Sickness (02:28)

A former miner recalls becoming very sick very quickly. His initial diagnosis was AIDS.

Mining Outside Arlit (02:48)

Buses pick up and drop off passengers. Men work large machinery at the mine.

Radioactive Health Risks (03:30)

A man recalls the death of several friends who were miners. A doctor states that he has not found any cases of radioactive related illnesses from the COMINAK and SOMAIR mines.

Medical Cover-ups? (01:44)

A man criticizes the doctors and mines for patient treatment.

Reusing Scrap Materials (03:27)

Mining debris litters streets in and around Arlit. Contaminated parts find their way into people's homes, causing significant health risks.

Extraction (01:39)

Follow workers inside a uranium mine.

Radiation Exposure (02:53)

Arlit residents discuss the death of friends and loved ones. They consider their own possible demise.

Cause of an Illness (03:18)

Arlit residents claim that officials use AIDS as a cover-up for work-related illnesses and consider the likelihood of becoming sick. One man laments his lack of treatment.

Evening in Arlit (01:04)

Residents wander the city streets. Hear the call to prayer.

Little Opportunities to Prosper (03:49)

One of the women at the drink stall reflects on the lack of customers. She does not have enough money to return home. A man discusses his trip form Marseille to Cameroon.

Waiting in Arlit (04:16)

Several men sit in the shade. Amadou works on cars and searches for a solution. His father suggests he go to Benin.

Credits: Arlit: Deuxieme Paris (01:43)

Credits: Arlit: Deuxieme Paris

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Arlit: Deuxieme Paris

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



This case study in "environmental racism" looks at the environmental and social wreckage left behind by a global uranium mining operation in Niger. Arlit, once a boom town, flourished in the early 70's its uranium mines employed 25,000 workers from around the world in high paying jobs. Arlit was alive 24 hours a day, earning it the nickname, 'le deuxiéme Paris.' Then came the collapse in uranium prices and the Tuareg rebellion against the central government in Niamey. When there was nothing more which the Europeans wanted they abandoned Arlit, leaving behind derelict machinery littering the desert. This film demonstrates the ultimate bankruptcy of overseas investment in commodity based industry as a strategy for development. With English subtitles.

Length: 78 minutes

Item#: BVL57860

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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