Category: Multimedia

Exploring the West’s fascination with ‘saving’ Africa

FRAMED trailer from Cassandra Herrman on Vimeo.

Framed, a new documentary in the making, takes a critical look at activism in Africa and the representation of aid recipients as victims. It investigates the West’s relationship to Africa and questions why it doesn’t focus its aid efforts on local communities in the US.

The documentary features Kenyan photojournalist Boniface Mwangi, Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina and South African-born educator Zine Magubane, who ask a range of questions about the “selling of suffering”.

Directed by Cassandra Herrman, the team behind the project are raising funds on Kickstarter to complete it. In their words: “We’re making this film because we believe it’s about something that should matter to all of us.  ‘Framed’ examines the western relationship to Africa and Africans but it’s also about how we create difference, how we unconsciously make some people more powerful and others weaker, and how it’s often easier to do that than to take a hard look at ourselves. We want this film to spark conversation and debate among students, educators, families, friends and colleagues.”


‘My Heritage, My Inheritance’

This is a clip from My Heritage, My Inheritance, a highly anticipated fashion film by South African knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo. Through his knitwear line, Ngxokolo seeks to preserve culture through contemporary fashion, and now film. This film was created to capture the deeper meaning behind the brand.

Centered around the theme of the Xhosa Ulwaluko (male circumcision and initiation) ceremony, the film chronicles the events that take place during this time – one of the most important events in the life of a young man as he graduates into manhood. Ngxokolo gives us a powerful and rare glimpse into a world reserved only for those entitled to undergo this process and educates us about the philosophies behind his brand.


Remember Lesotho?

The Forgotten Kingdom is the first feature film in history to have been made in Lesotho. This is noteworthy and interesting, but it is also, in some sense, a pity. It means there is a danger that it will become the “Lesotho movie”; its reputation reduced to little more than the location where it was filmed. Yet this is a film that can easily stand on its artistic merits, which are quite considerable.

The Forgotten Kingdom tells the story of Atang (Zenzo Ngqobe), a Basotho man who has spent most of his life in South Africa. At the start of the movie he has fully acclimatised to city life in Johannesburg, but he’s shiftless and unemployed. He’s also kind of a jerk. (At one point, in a clear example of movie code for villainy, he gives a cigarette to a school-age child.)

The Forgotten Kingdom (Trailer) from Black Kettle Films on Vimeo.

Read Laurence Caromba’s full review here.

Siji’s ‘Lagos Lullabye’

Inspired by the scenes in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver where the protagonist, played by Robert DeNiro, drives around the seedy and unforgiving streets of New York City, Nigerian artist Siji takes us through his country’s former capital city where the hustle is real and the bustle never stops.

This is Lagos in all its glory, accompanied by Siji’s narrative of a city that both thrives and thirsts at the same. This Afrobeat ode to one of Africa’s most electric cities (not literally, of course) reminds me of Fela Kuti’s Monday Morning in Lagos.

Siji’s forthcoming album ‘Home Grown’ is currently scheduled for release in spring of 2014. It’s been two and a half years in the making – a journey that’s been chronicled in the video below.

SIJI – ‘Home Grown’ (Official EPK) from SIJI on Vimeo.

Dynamic Africa is a curated multimedia blog focused on all facets of African cultures, African history, and the lives and experiences of Africans on the continent and in the diaspora – past and present. Visit the blog and connect with the curator, Funke Makinwa, on Twitter.