Aïdas Sanogo – Blessed and Lucky
I was blessed and lucky to get a twelve-month scholarship from the Oumou Dilly Foundation to fund my fourth PhD year at the University of Basel. This funding allowed me to stay in Basel to pursue my doctoral studies.
The city of Basel, located right between Germany, France and Switzerland, is a beautiful town, which has a lot to offer. There are about 40 museums for culture lovers, the opportunity to swim in a clean river (the Rhein) or attend the Fastnacht festival, which one of the numerous world-renowned cultural events held in Basel on a yearly basis. Plus thanks to the city’s geographical location, within the same day, it is possible to have breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Germany, and dinner in France, by bike. These are just a few examples of the amazing opportunities of fun activities the city has to offer.
Personally, fun activities in Basel are synonymous to online activities. The amount of my after-work time spent on social media made me realize how much I relied on Internet over the years, to keep in touch with friends and family members. My life in Basel has then been shared between professional activities and zillions of phone calls made through Skype, WhatsApp or Facebook.
During my Oumou Dilly scholarship period, I published three articles in the Basel Papers on Political Transformations, and organized a workshop on African secondary cities, together with a colleague from the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Basel. I also attended the European Conference on African Studies, organized in Basel in 2017. It was a nice experience to reconnect with other colleagues that I had had met formerly in other academic meetings. For once, I was not the one constantly asking for directions, I was rather the one pointing them the right direction to their buildings or their panel rooms.