2016 Camden Conference
THE NEW AFRICA
February 19-21, 2016
“It was my first time in attendance, but certainly won’t be my last if this is the quality of thought-provoking speakers that the Conference attracts.” — Attendee, Sedgwick, Maine
“Your team produced a memorable and historic Conference, the first of a kind as far as Africa is concerned. I am honored to have been part of it.” — Mvemba Dizolele, Speaker
“I enjoyed the diversity of the speakers, their keen difference of opinion … Thanks for the insights I gained and new friends I met.” — Attendee, Austin, Texas
“The Camden Conference has helped me to find my purpose and to chart my own path.” — Student attendee, Hampshire College
“I took away wonderful lessons in citizenship from the entire Camden community. It is amazing to me that you volunteer your time and resources in this way to be informed and engaged on world issues. It is also wonderful to see how you make this available to the students, giving a tremendous gift to the younger generation. Your choice of speakers was very good and I left having reinforced my personal network of outstanding Africans. I left strengthened, enriched and more determined than ever in my personal mission and my vision for Cameroon. Thank you.” — Kah Walla, Speaker
“Wonderful Conference. I particularly appreciated hearing from authentic voices with a stake in the area.” — Attendee, Centerport, New York
“I gained knowledge from all the speakers and was so honored to have met them all. I was grateful to have gotten a chance to talk to them about my experiences as a refugee, immigrant and African in this country.” — Student attendee, University of New England, Biddeford
“It was a privilege to be involved in that extraordinary event. I don’t think that anybody who was at the Conference could think of Africa in the same way again. Bravissimo to you and your wonderful team of leaders and volunteers. In a dark season, the conference was a reminder of the power of enlightened American engagement in the world.” Larry Pope, Moderator
“This was my first Camden Conference and I’m ready to sign up for the next one.” — Attendee, Montville, Maine
WATCH THE CONFERENCE NOW:
Laurence Everett Pope, II
Laurence Everett Pope II was the United States Ambassador to Chad from 1993 to 1996 and former US Chargé d’Affaires to Libya. Pope held a number of senior posts in the Department of State. He was the Director for Northern Gulf Affairs (1987–1990), Associate Director for Counter-Terrorism (1991–1993), U.S. Ambassador to Chad (1993–1996), and Political Advisor to General Zinni USMC, Commander-in-Chief of United States Central Command (1997–2000). From October 2012 – January 2013, Ambassador Pope served as the U.S Chargé d’Affaires in Libya, assuming the duties of the late J. Christopher Stevens, the former U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Ambassador Pope retired from the U.S. Foreign Service on October 2, 2000 after 31 years of service. He continues to consult with various institutions and is a respected arabist. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Pope also had advanced studies at Princeton University and is a graduate of the U.S. Department of State Senior Seminar. He is the author most recently of “The Demilitarization of American Diplomacy”, Palsgrave MacMillan, 2014. Among his other books are “Francois de Callieres, A Political Life” (Republic of Letters Publishing, 2010, and “Among Heroes, A Marine Corps Rifle Company on Peleliu” (Marine Corps University Press, 2011). He speaks Arabic and French, and resides in Portland, Maine.
Ms. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
Ms. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is West Africa Correspondent for NPR (National Public Radio) News, based in Dakar, Senegal. A native of Ghana, she spent her early years in Ghana, Italy, Britain and Kenya. After completing high school in Britain, she took a degree in French studies, international relations and Spanish at the London School of Economics and then studied radio journalism at the Polytechnic of Central London. Ms. Quist-Arcton joined the BBC in 1985, working at regional radio stations all over Britain, then moving to the BBC World Service as a producer and host in the African Service. After a stint in Paris on a BBC journalist exchange with Radio France International as host, reporter and editor, she moved to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to head the BBC’s West Africa bureau. She covered 24 countries and reported on the flowering of democracy in the region as well as the outbreak of civil wars, revolutions and coups, while always keeping an eye on the “other” stories about Africa that receive minimal media attention. In 1994, she returned to the BBC in London as a host and senior producer, then relocated to Boston as a reporter for The World, a co-production between the BBC, Public Radio International (PRI) and WGBH. For The World, she traveled around the United States, providing the program with an African journalist’s perspective on North American life. In 1998, she was appointed co-host of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship radio drive-time show, PM Live, based in Johannesburg. In 2000, she joined allAfrica.com (allAfricaGlobal Media), to report on the continent’s top stories and develop new radio shows for webcast and syndication to radio stations around the continent. In 2004, she joined NPR News. Her passions are African art and culture, music, literature, open-air markets, antiques – and learning.
Dr. Djime Adoum
Dr. Djime Adoum is Executive Secretary of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The Sahel, home to many of Africa’s poorest countries and peoples, is a zone stretching across the African continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, separating the southward-expanding Sahara Desert from the humid savannas to the south. In recent decades, the Sahel has been ravaged by soil erosion and desertification. Dr. Adoum was previously Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation in his native Chad. In his current role, Dr. Adoum focuses on the implications of climate change for agriculture, poverty reduction, countries’ resiliency in the face of disasters, education, and human rights, and he presents compelling research on the outlook for human populations, agriculture and wildlife throughout sub-Saharan Africa. He earned a Ph.D. in agronomy and agricultural extension at the University of Maryland, where he studied the diffusion of innovation. He has also worked at the World Bank and USAID/Permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte Contre la Secheresse dans le Sahel.
Ms. Jennifer G. Cooke
Ms. Jennifer G. Cooke is director of the CSIS Africa Program, which she joined in 2000. The program provides balanced and forward-looking analysis of political and economic dynamics within African states to better inform U.S. policy choices. Ms. Cooke covers a broad range of U.S.-Africa policy issues, including security engagement, health assistance, conflict diplomacy, and support for good governance. She currently leads the CSIS Nigeria Election Forum, a two-year project that examines the major challenges associated with Nigeria’s 2015 elections, and a study analyzing the intersection of religion and politics in Africa. She also co-chairs a CSIS project on Africa’s new oil and gas producers and the implications of the continent’s changing energy landscape for U.S. Africa policy. Ms. Cooke has authored numerous CSIS reports, including most recently Africa at a Crossroads: Overcoming Obstacles to Sustained Growth and Economic Transformation (May 2014) and Launching a New Chapter in U.S.-Africa Relations: Deepening the Business Relationship (February 2014). She is a frequent public speaker and commentator in print, on radio, and on television, and she has testified before Congress on Boko Haram in Nigeria, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, and the African Union. Prior to CSIS, she worked at the National Academy of Sciences in the Office of Human Rights and the Office of News and Public Information and at the U.S. Congress on the House Subcommittee on Africa. She has lived in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic.
Mr. Sangu Delle
Mr. Sangu Delle was born in Ghana, where his childhood home was a refuge for victims of torture and violence from neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Sangu graduated from Harvard with highest honors in African Studies and Economics. At Harvard, Sangu co-founded cleanacwa which today is currently working to bring clean water and sanitation to over 200,000 people across 120 villages in Ghana. Convinced that the real needs of communities can best be met through entrepreneurship, in 2008 he founded an investment holding company, Golden Palm Investments (GPI) to fund promising start-ups that can have social impact and generate jobs. GPI has backed startups such as Solo Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana/Zambia/Cote D’Ivoire and Stawi Foods in Kenya. GPI has also built a portfolio of greenfield companies in healthcare, real estate, and financial services. Sangu has received several international accolades including being named Africa’s “Young Person of the Year” in 2014, selected as a 2014 TEDGlobal Fellow, named one of Forbes’ top 30 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa in 2015 and Euromoney’s “Africa’s Rising Stars” award for “outstanding individuals and power brokers who are changing the financial, investment and business landscape in Africa.”
Mr. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele
Mr. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele is an independent journalist and the Peter J. Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is the author of the forthcoming biography Mobutu: the Rise and Fall of the Leopard King. His analyses of African affairs have been widely published in policy journals and in newspapers, and he has been a guest analyst on PBS’ NewsHour, Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria, On Point, The Diane Rehm Show, the BBC World News Update, Al Jazeera’s The Stream and other programs. Mr. Dizolele has testified before subcommittees of the United States Congress and the United Nations Security Council. He was a grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and covered the 2006 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With the Pulitzer Center, he produced Congo’s Bloody Coltan, a documentary report on the relationship between the Congo conflict and the scramble for mineral resources. He served as an election monitor with the Carter Center in Congo in 2006 and 2011. He was also embedded with United Nations peacekeepers in Congo’s Ituri district and South Kivu province as a reporter. Mr. Dizolele is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He holds an International Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French from Southern Utah University. He is fluent in French, Norwegian, Spanish, Swahili, Kikongo and Lingala, and is proficient in Danish and Swedish.
Paul Nugent is Professor of Comparative African History straddling the Schools of History, Classics and Archaeology and Social and Political Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, working on a comparison of borders and state-making in Ghana and Uganda. He was Director of the Centre of African Studies for ten years and for a further seven years he served as the President of AEGIS, the Centre-based African Studies association in Europe. As such, he intimately involved in the European African Studies scene. In 2014-15, he was a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study (STIAS) working on a project on South African wine and global connectivity. Paul Nugent is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and holds a Masters and a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Paul is currently the holder of the most prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant for a multi-regional comparative project entitled African Governance and Space: Transport Corridors, Border Towns and Port Cities in Transition (AFRIGOS). The project began in January 2016.
Mr. Kingsley Moghalu
Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu is Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Council on Emerging Market Enterprises at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He was Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009 to 2014, and led the implementation of far-reaching reforms in the Nigerian banking sector after the global financial crisis. He is the Founder and Chairman of Sogato Strategies, a global strategy, risk and macroeconomic advisory firm in Washington DC, Geneva and Lagos, and a member of the Advisory Board of the London based Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF). Professor Moghalu previously worked for the United Nations for 17 years in legal affairs, strategic planning and executive management roles in New York, Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania and Switzerland, rising to the rank of Director. Moghalu is the author of three books including Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter (Penguin Books, 2014). He obtained his PhD at the London School of Economics, the MA from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, the LL.B. from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the International Certificate in Risk Management from the UK Institute of Risk Management in London. He is a frequent international keynote speaker at global forums and a commentator on global television including CNN Television, BBC World TV, Bloomberg, and CNBC. His opinion commentaries have appeared in the London Financial Times, USA Today and other newspapers.
Mr. Ali Mufuruki
Mr. Ali A. Mufuruki is a Tanzanian entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker and leadership coach. A Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute Class of 2001, Ali Mufuruki co-founded the Africa Leadership Initiative in 2002 whose mission is to engage the energy and talent of emerging leaders in Africa in order to release their potential to build a good society for their nations. He is co-founder and chairman of the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, a policy dialogue forum that brings together more than 100 CEOs of leading companies in Tanzania. This group engages regularly with the senior government leadership of Tanzania to find solutions for the country’s economy. He is also owner, Chairman & CEO of Infotech Investment Group LTD, a family business that has interests in ICT, media, telecoms, private equity, retail and real estate across a number of countries in Africa and beyond. Ali Mufuruki is currently Chairman of the Boards of Msingi LTD (Kenya), Legacy Capital Partners Ltd (Tanzania); Trademark East Africa (Kenya) and Chai Bora Ltd (Tanzania). He serves as Director on the boards of BlueTown Holdings Ltd (Denmark) and AMSCO (Netherlands). He previously sat on the Board of the Tanzania Central Bank where he was elected the first ever independent chairman of the Audit Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors of Technoserve, Inc. of Washington, DC and Nation Media Group of Kenya. Mr. Mufuruki holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Design Engineering from Reutlingen University, Germany and lives in Dar-es-Salaam with and his wife and four children.
Ms. Kah Walla
Ms. Kah Walla is one of a new generation of African leaders, an entrepreneur, and a grassroots activist in Cameroon. In 2011 she was a candidate for President of Cameroon, challenging a political structure that has seen only two presidents in the last 50 years. She continues to be outspoken on political and social issues – especially governance and corruption, the role of women in the economy and politics, and youth and employment. She founded a consulting firm – STRATEGIES! – in Douala, Cameroon, and now works with civil society groups throughout Africa, advocating for policies and projects that serve a wide variety of groups: farmers, traders, motorbike drivers, persons with disabilities, fishermen, student associations and governments. In 2015, she was honored by Vital Voices Global Partnership Forum as one of five women igniting change in the world.
Pamela A. White
Pamela A. White has served two recent terms as ambassador to the Republic of Haiti and one to The Gambia from 2010-2012. Before becoming an ambassador, she served as Mission Director for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Liberia where she managed USAID’s second largest development budget in Africa. White holds the rank of Career Minister. She has over 35 years of experience serving mostly in Africa where she began her public service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon. At USAID White has served as Mission Director in Mali and Tanzania, Community Liaison Officer in Burkina Faso, Deputy Director Executive Officer in Senegal and Haiti and Executive Officer in Haitian, Egyptian, and South African missions. Among other accomplishments, she has coordinated food deliveries, developed strategies, and increased opportunities for women and children. For her work she was awarded the highest decoration given to foreigners, the Knight of the National Order of Merit (Ordre national du Mali) and she received the Medal of Honor from The Gambia, one of the only foreigners ever to receive this award. White is a native of Auburn, Maine, studied at the University of Maine and the School for International Training where she earned a Master’s Degree in International Development. She graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Join us for our Community Events!
Each year the Camden Conference focuses on a topic of global importance and offers a series of free or low-cost Community Events related to this topic. These events are held in libraries and senior colleges throughout Midcoast Maine and Southern Maine.
Community Events are intended to provide background on the yearly topic and to touch on areas related to the February Conference that may not be covered in its three-day program. The views of our presenters are their own and may not represent those of the Camden Conference.
Acknowledgements: The Camden Conference wishes to acknowledge long time member, Bob Sargent and librarian, Charlotte Cushman for their material contributions in the development of these resource materials.
The Looting Machine, Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa’s Wealth
Public Affairs. 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61039-440-6 (EB)
Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa.
de Waal, Alex.
Indiana University Press. 2009
ISBN: # 0253211581
Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
Portobello Books. 2008
China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.
French, Howard W.
The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence.
Public Affairs. 2006
Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000 Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavor.
Public Affairs. 2014
Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter.
Moghalu, Kingsley Chiedu
Bookcraft Ltd. 2013
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
Moyo, Dambisa and Niall Ferguson
Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. 2009
Africa Has a Future
Mutanda waNdebele, Peter
LionheART Publishing House. 2013
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World
Rodale Books. 2009
The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014.
Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa
Richburg, Keith B.
Basic Books. 1997
Yale University Press. 2012
The Mind of the African Strong Man: Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen and Father Figures
Herman ‘Hank’ Cohen
New Academia Publishing. 2015
B. SPECIFIC COUNTRIES
Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones.
Basic Books. 2004
ISBN: 0813342201 (Angola)
House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War-Torn Zimbabwe.
Lawrence Hill Books. 2007
ISBN: 1556527357 (Zimbabwe)
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.
Back Bay Books. 1995
ISBN: 0316548189 (South Africa)
Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
Public Affairs. 2011
ISBN: 1586489291 (Congo)
No Future Without Forgiveness
ISBN: 0385496907 (South Africa)
C. MEMOIRS/POPULAR NON-FICTION
Say You’re One of Them
Little, Brown and Company. 2009
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Sarah Crichton Books. 2007
God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir
Bul Dau, John.
National Geographic. 2007
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
William Morrow. 2009
Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness.
Random House. 2009
Good Morning, Mr. Mandela
La Grange, Zelda.
Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa
Free Press. 1998
Singing Away the Hunger: The Autobiography of an African Woman
M’Atsepo Nthunya, Mpho and K. Limakatso Kendall
Indiana University Press. 1997
V. NOBEL PRIZE RECIPIENTS
With a rich tradition of African writers who have won the Nobel Prize, The Camden Conference salutes these great Africans for championing the voice of African literature on the global stage:
Wole Soyinka: Nigeria (1934-xxxx )
Playwright and political activist Wole Soyinka received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, thus becoming the first African to ever win this prestigious prize. He was recognized for “applying a wide cultural perspective and poetic overtones to fashion the drama of existence.”
The Interpreters. Trafalgar Square. 1996. ISBN: 0233989781
Naguib Mahfouz: Egypt (1911-2006)
Mahfouz, who was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature for “works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous” that have “narrative art that applies to all mankind.” Over a 70-year career, he published more than 50 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays. Many of his works have been made into Egyptian and foreign films.
Midaq Alley. Anchor. 1991. ISBN: 0385264763
Nadine Gordimer: South Africa (1923-2014)
Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 in recognition of her epic writing, which in the words of Alfred Nobel, “has been of very great benefit to humanity.”
The Conservationist. Penguin Books. 1983. ISBN: 0140047166
John Maxwell Coetzee: South African & Australian (1940-xxxx)
Coetzee is the most recent African winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature having received the prize in 2003. He was recognized as a writer “who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider.”
Disgrace. Penguin Books. 2005. ISBN: 0143036378
Maathai, Wangari: Kenya (1940-2011)
The first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree.
She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.
The Challenge for Africa. Pantheon. 2009. ISBN: 0307377407
Kofi Annan: Ghana (1938-xxxx)
The seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving two terms from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2006. He was the first to emerge from the ranks of UN staff. In 2001, Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, with the citation praising his leadership for bringing new life to the organization.
Interventions: A Life in War and Peace. Co-authored with Nader Mousavizadeh. Penguin Press. 2012. ISBN: 1594204209
VI. FICTION, CLASSICS AND FAVORITES
Things Fall Apart
Anchor Books. 1994
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
Seal Press. 2004
Half of a Yellow Sun.
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
Harper Perennial. 2003
More information here
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
Armah, Ayi Kwei
Heinemann Educational Books. 1989
So Long a Letter
Heinemann Educational Books. 1989.
When Rain Clouds Gather
Heinemann Educational Books. 1996.
A Grain of Wheat
Thiong’o, Ngũgĩ wa.
Heinemann Educational Books. 1994.
The 2006 drama, starring Derek Luke and Tim Robbins, depicts terrorism in apartheid-era South Africa, revolving around a policeman and a young man who carry out solo attacks against the regime.
The 1987 drama stars Denzel Washington as South African activist Stephen Biko and Kevin Kline as journalist Donald Woods. Woods is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death of his friend, Biko, while in police custody.
The 2009 film starring Clarke Peters and William Hurt is based on the final days of apartheid in South Africa and the covert discussions leading up to it.
The 2009 film stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. In his first term as the South African President, Mandela initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Mandela’s embrace of the mostly white team set the example for reconciliation that was needed to help heal and unite the country.
The 2013 drama starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris traces Nelson Mandela’s life journey from childhood in a rural village to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives — which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith — abruptly disturbed.
Winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this film is set in an Alexandra slum in Johannesburg, South Africa. It tells the story of Tsotsi, a young street thug who steals a car only to discover a baby in the back seat.
The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.
In 2008, director Jarreth Merz returns to his boyhood home of Ghana to find himself. That all changes when he discovers a country churning with political, social and economic turmoil. Ghana is on the cusp of its presidential election and Merz pulls us with him into the political machine. Following key candidates for three months, he provides an insider’s view into the lives of the Ghanaian people and the larger-than-life politicians who will do anything to win. The film beautifully captures the enduring pride of the Ghanaian people, and presents a window into the range of challenges they face. An African Election is a powerful and suspenseful documentary, offering a unique story about the struggles of a third world democracy in the global eye.
Marion Cloete, a university-trained therapist, along with her husband and two daughters, fearlessly walked away from a privileged life in a wealthy Johannesburg suburb to establish Boikarabelo (formerly Botshabelo), an extraordinary village and school that provide shelter, food, and education to more than 550 South African children.
Sometime in the 1960’s, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world
Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo… Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent.
Daughters of the Niger Delta is an intimate film portrait of three everyday heroines who manage to make ends meet against all odds. As their personal stories unfold, we come to see that the widely ignored environmental pollution in their backyard is not the only human rights issue affecting their lives.
A Liberian refugee SAM REAYAH and his family have been separated for five years and live in uncertainty waiting for family reunion. While Sam and his younger daughter Ruth continue their lives in Buduburam Refugee camp in Ghana, his wife Decontee and his older daughter Joyce have already started a life in Rochester, USA. The film explores the idea of home. Sam’s family had a home in Liberia, but they had to give it up. They were forced to build homes elsewhere. They built a home in Ghana. They build a home in The United States. They built homes together, they build homes separate of each other. But which home does the heart want?
Freetown tells the true story of a group of Liberian missionaries who attempt to flee the widespread violence in their country and escape to Freetown in Sierra Leone.
In the Spring of 2011, Senegal was pitched into crisis when President Abdoulaye Wade decided to change the constitution to allow for a third term. An artist-led youth movement erupted to protect one of Africa’ oldest and most stable democracies. In a time where democracy is under siege in many parts of the world, ‘Incorruptible’ (formerly ‘An African Spring’) offers a positive, hopeful example while at the same time honestly examining the sustainability of a people’s movement, and the role that youth are taking in shaping the future of their own country.
In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, a firestorm erupts when Mayor Larry Ramond of Lewiston, Maine sends an open letter to 1,100 newly arrived Somali refugees advising them that the city’s resources are strained to the limit and asking other Somalis not to move to the city. Interpreted as a rallying cry by white supremacist groups across the United States, The Letter documents the crossfire of emotions and events, culminating in a “hate” rally convened by the World Church of the Creator and a counter “peace” rally involving 4,000 Lewiston residents supporting ethnic and cultural diversity.
Lost Boys of Sudan is a feature-length documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America. Orphaned as young boys in one of Africa’s cruelest civil wars, Peter Dut and Santino Chuor survived lion attacks and militia gunfire to reach a refugee camp in Kenya along with thousands of other children. From there, remarkably, they were chosen to come to America. Safe at last from physical danger and hunger, a world away from home, they find themselves confronted with the abundance and alienation of contemporary American suburbia.
In a personal odyssey encompassing an imaginary letter to Mandela and conversations with politicians, activists, intellectuals, and artists, Matabane questions the meaning of freedom, reconciliation, and forgiveness—and challenges Mandela’s legacy in today’s world of conflict and inequality.
Orania is a remote village in the barren centre of South Africa, an “intentional community” where only white Afrikaans people live – a culturally homogeneous place in a multicultural country. What lies beneath this peculiar societal experiment?
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock ‘n’ roller, Rodriguez.
An artist paints a caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma that provokes a lawsuit, death threats and a massive street protest. Around this incident, Shield and Spear explores a constellation of stories about identity, art, race, and freedom of expression in South Africa, twenty years into democracy.
In the little town of Kumba, Cameroon, there have been no convictions in spousal abuse cases for 17 years. But two women determined to change their community are making progress that could change their country. This fascinating, often hilarious doc follows the work of State Prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba as they help women fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and their community to remain silent
With fierce compassion, the two feisty and progressive-minded women dispense wisdom, wisecracks and justice in fair measure, handing down stiff sentences to those convicted. A cross between “Judge Judy” and “The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” Sisters in Law has audiences cheering when justice is served.
The Supreme Price is a feature length documentary film that traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Following the annulment of her father’s victory in Nigeria’s Presidential Election and her mother’s assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, Hafsat Abiola faces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women.
35 Cows and a Kalishnikov is a film about African pride. Directed by Oswald von Richthofen and produced by Roland Emmerich, two old film school friends. It is not a classical documentary about Africa. No boy soldiers. No hunger. No safaris. But rather a poetic tribute to the eternal beauty and sublime strength of the continent. An homage to the Surma tribe of Southern Ethiopia, the dandy movement of Brazzaville, and the voodoo wrestlers in Kinshasa. Archaic roots, colonial influence and Western phenomena, all exist in today’s Africa. The filmmakers show three unusual facets of the continent. The result pushes the boundaries of cinematic aesthetics. Bold images and daring editing create a captivating way of storytelling, of poetry. 35 Cows and a Kalishnikov will illuminate your view of the Dark Continent.
Touba reveals a different face of Islam by chronicling Sufi Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to the Senegalese city of Touba. With unprecedented access and dynamic 16mm cinematography, this poetic documentary takes us inside the Mouride Brotherhood–one of West Africa’s most elusive organizations and one of the world’s largest Sufi communities. Annually more than one million Mourides travel from all over the world to the holy city of Touba to pay homage to the life and teachings of Cheikh Amadou Bamba in the pilgrimage known as the ‘Grand Magaal.’ Bamba’s non-violent resistance to the French colonial persecution of Muslims in the late 19th century inspired a national movement and doctrine, freedom of religious expression through pacifism, still practiced by millions of his followers.
This Academy Award nominated film is one of the best Africa documentaries ever produced, demonstrating the resilience of the human spirit in the face of total brutality. In war-torn Uganda, the L. R. A. (Lord’s Resistance Army) kidnaps young children, turning girls into sex slaves and boys into soldiers. Thousands of children seek refuge from the L. R. A. in the Patongo camp, and this film follows several of the camp’s children as they pursue their dream of winning the National Music Competition. Despite the grizzly circumstances that these children face, they find light and hope in music and dance.
Academy Award® nominated director Hubert Sauper’s We Come as Friends is a modern odyssey, a dizzying, science fiction-like journey into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old “civilizing” pathology re-emerges – that of colonialism, the clash of empires, and new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources. The director of Darwin’s Nightmare takes us on this voyage in his tiny, self-made, tin and canvas flying machine. He leads us into most improbable locations and into people’s thoughts and dreams, in both stunning and heartbreaking ways. Chinese oil workers, UN peacekeepers, Sudanese warlords, and American evangelists ironically weave common ground in this documentary, a complex, profound and humorous cinematic endeavor.
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