Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Participatory Media Proves Powerful Tool in Aftermath of Kenyan Violence

Media workshops and public screenings are proving powerful tools for dialogue and integration in Kenya. The country erupted in violence over the disputed election results of December 2007 when ruling president Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga. The human and economic toll of the violence has been catastrophic for Kenyans.

Media Focus on Africa Foundation and FilmAid International will hold a 9-month series of media awareness campaigns and public workshops across Kenya to heal what remains of the animosity, uncover true reasons for the violence, and ensure the devastation does not happen again.

In this video Oceanic Oballa of Media Focus on Africa, Steve Otieno of FilmAid International and Likoni Community Leader Mishi Juma Mboko talk about the power and challenges of participatory media.

In this video, the FilmAid International team from Nairobi sets up a screening in the town of Likoni, near the coastal city of Mombasa, one of the more violent regions during 2007 violence. With their mobile advertising and huge, inflatable movie screen, the team attracted a crowd of hundreds to the town square to watch a video about a dialogue between victims and perpetrators of the violence.

Click here for FilmAid International's website

Click here for Media Focus on Africa's Website

FilmAid's Participatory Video Program in Kenyan Refugee Camp

FilmAid International is pushing the edges on what they call participatory video; involving community in producing dramatic films, talk shows, instructional videos and documentaries for social change.

In these videos...

Kakuma Refugee Camp Program Director Christopher Agutu gives an overview of the PV student program at the Kenyan camp:

Kakuma refugee students Stella Luka from Sudan and Mark Oloya from Sudan talk of their experiences as budding filmmakers with FilmAid:

Kakuma facilitators Catherine Anyango Ofwono of Uganda and Scisa Rumenge from Congo talk of the challenges and rewards of organizing the PV program:

Jimmy Carter Rails Against Religion-Based Discrimination

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter rails against the damage religion-based discrimination against women and girls does to all of society.

Read the full text in Australia's The Age by clicking here.

"The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family." - Jimmy Carter

Saturday, July 18, 2009

81-year-old French Filmmaker Still Working Strong

Filmmaker Agnes Varda's reputation keeps growing with age. :) A new movie called Beaches of Agnes explores Varda's life.

From NPR: "smart, touching, sometimes unabashedly silly, as when Varda dresses up as a potato. She sifts through the diverse elements of her life, from her birth in Brussels in 1928 through the self-inventing moment when she changed her name from Arlette to Agnes to her present day status as an octogenarian grandmother and cinematic icon."

Click here for the NPR story and audio.