In the Senegalese documentary Selbé et tant d’autres/Selbe: One Among Many (1983), Safi Faye’s intimate but unobtrusive camera observes the life of a 39-year-old Serer peasant woman, Selbé, and her precarious existence in a Senegalese village. While the film focuses mainly on a single remarkable individual, the title is indicative of the representative nature of her life, a life shared by many other Serer/Senegalese/African rural women. Faye was one of only a handful of Black sub-Saharan African women active in the film industry at the time, and her film represents the multiplicity of female identities inhabited by rural African women. The eighties was a time of economic hardship in many African regions, as a result of the Structural Adjustment Programmes imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and Selbé’s life is marked by a struggle to provide for her family, in the absence of a husband who has left for a neighbouring town in search of work, only to return empty-handed. Selbé works on the fields, with a baby tied to her back, and takes on all domestic tasks in the quest to feed and raise her nine children. In times of particular hardship, she collects mussels in order to buy millet, rice and fish to sell. In voice-over, she tells the viewer how she once had to leave the village for eight months to find work in Dakar in an attempt to pay off her debts. The economic climate has relegated the men to unemployment and has disrupted traditionally complementary gender roles in the domestic sphere, unsettling marriage and family life. “The strength of my own arms is all I can rely on,” she says, “I can pull down a tree, but I’m only a woman.” Nonetheless, her life is not entirely one of adversity, as she teaches a song to her children that she learnt from her own mother, and she finds solidarity and friendship among her fellow village women. Selbé is a Senegalese Serer woman, a daughter, mother, wife, friend, homemaker, entrepreneur, agricultural worker, labour migrant and transmitter of culture. Her individual, cultural, gender, national, ethnic and economic identities are all intertwined, converging to present a complex picture of a particular African woman.