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About the Author

Carmen Paun
Secretary General European Youth Press (Brussels, Belgium)

Carmen has a BA in journalism, public relations and advertising and a MA in European Studies. She has worked for a printed magazine and took part in media projects all over Europe, being involved in European Youth Press, a big network for young media makers.


“Welcome to My Tribe!” takes three French families in the jungle

Published 14th July 2010 - 18 comments - 4117 views -

“Bienvenue dans ma tribu!” (eng: Welcome to my tribe!) is a new French TV programme that the world can watch every Tuesday on TF1 starting from last night.The show focuses on the experiences of three French families who get to spend three weeks with three tribes from different parts of the world.

According to, the three French families selected by the producers of the programme come from different places in France, and have a different profile. One upper-middle class family who wants to have one last adventure together heads to Ethiopia. The second family, consisting of an unemployed father and a mother earning the minimum wage in France, goes to Papua. The third family, who is originally from Marseille, has five members including an 11-years old girl. They will spend their three weeks in the Zaparas tribe located in Ecuador. The challenge these three families will face is to learn how to live just like their host tribes, and adapt to a life completely different than the one they are used to. In the last episode, the representatives of two of the host tribes will be shown spending a week in France.

The tribes selected to be part of the program are primitive, but they still have some connection with the outside world, producers say.

The new programme was presented to the French media a few weeks ago by its producer, Alexia Laroche-Joubert. She said that “Welcome to My Tribe” is not a reality-show, mostly because there is no prize to be won at the end of it. According to, the producer explained that there was a technical team of 15 people, including the interpreters that accompanied the French families on their adventure. The purpose of a restricted team was not to disturb the life of the tribes as much as possible and to try to keep everything as natural as it could be in front of the cameras.


It seems that the announcement of the new show received different reactions in France. Some believe it is full of stereotypes regarding the life of the tribes that currently exist, while some others see it as a live intercultural learning experience.

The programme already exists, with different variations, in countries other than France. The focus of the show is not completely new in France, where “Rendez-vous en terre inconnue” broadcasted by France 2, takes celebrities to far-flung destinations to meet people whose cultures and traditions seem to be threatened by modern life.

At the moment of writing the post, the representatives of TF1 hadn't yet answered my question whether the tribes had receive any financial benefits from their participation in the programme. I will come back with their answer as soon as I have it.

Later edit (18 July): TF1 answered my question: "Bienvenue dans ma tribu" has 6 episodes in this season and it is still very early to tell if you if there will be another season. We suggest that you wait for the fall to find out. While waiting, we are giving you the address of the production company where you can eventually ask your question". Address follows. I only asked if the tribes where paid to be part of this programme, but maybe my French is that bad that they understood that I am asking whether there will be a new season of it. Anyway, I will address my request to the production company hoping to get my answer before the competition is over.

 Picture credits:


  • Helena Goldon on 14th July 2010:

    Looking forward to the TF1 response!

  • Carmen Paun on 14th July 2010:

    Yes, me too, although I must say I can predict it!

  • Hussam Hussein on 14th July 2010:

    Right Elena… I am very curious about it… wink

  • Andrea Arzaba on 14th July 2010:

    Me too!! but indeed, it seems like a show I would like to watch!

  • Carmen Paun on 14th July 2010:

    @Andrea: Every Tuesday evening, at 22.20, on TF1! I sound like a commercial now! smile

  • Johan Knols on 14th July 2010:

    I have seen one edition of a similar program in the Netherlands. It is shocking as all camerawork is done from a European perspective. What if we would give those cameras to looking camera man and let them film from their perspective? Yes, yes, I know. The show wouldn’t sell.

  • Carmen Paun on 15th July 2010:

    Do you mean to give the camera to somebody from the tribe? smile

  • Johan Knols on 15th July 2010:

    No…to someone who knows how to handle a cam from that specific country.

  • Carmen Paun on 15th July 2010:

    I agree that would probably make it more interesting than the usual exotic point of view that we have about those tribes.

  • Hanna Clarys on 15th July 2010:

    There has been a format like this in Belgium a few years ago and I hated it. Smelled like cheap entertainment, using the tribes to make money.
    And I don’t even know whether it would be a good thing if you get the answer that the tribes have received financial benefits. In either way, we are invading their world and their way of life will change because of it.

  • Andrea Arzaba on 15th July 2010:

    But at the same time Hanna, it might be educative. People might notice that tribes are not as different and distant as they think….but on the other hand I understand your point (they use them just as tools to make $$)

  • Hanna Clarys on 15th July 2010:

    But Andrea, those tribes often are! When you are taken into Africa’s jungle, you will find tribes with habits you’ll find disgusting, cruel, etc. You won’t understand them. And that’s what those television formats are aming for. Because that is what makes it so ‘fun’ to watch.

  • Carmen Paun on 15th July 2010:

    So what should the approach of the media towards those tribes be Hanna, from your point of view?

  • Hanna Clarys on 16th July 2010:

    Maybe, in this case, they should take a group of anthropologists and social scientists into the jungle. That way, the viewers of the television program will be able to put into perspective everything the tribes do. They will get information with the tribes’ habits, through which the public can place them in a broader picture. It won’t then just be all about making fun of the tribes or about shivering with what they eat or do, ...

    I would watch such a program.

  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 25th July 2010:

    I think that the same show was in Swedish TV, adn that there were some scandal… If I remember correctly they alsomst didn’t pay the ‘tribespeople’, who weren’t that authentical at all.

    But it all depends on how it is done, of course. If a thing like this is done right I think it can be quite educative.

  • Andrea Arzaba on 25th July 2010:

    Too bad they were actors Daniel!

  • Sylwia Presley on 25th July 2010:

    Really interested in the idea of tribes in modern society! Thx for sharing!

  • Carmen Paun on 27th July 2010:

    @Daniel: The idea to have actors play the tribe’s people is outrageous but I do think everything is possible.
    @Sylwia: My pleasure!

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