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Documentary explores the West's fascination with "saving" Africa
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Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:56
Screen grab from Framed

Director and producer Cassandra Herrman's documentary takes a look at Western society’s desire to “save” Africa and the images in the media which portray Africans as objects of pity, moral atrocity or fascination. The film follows Kenyan photojournalist turned activist Boniface Mwangi who breaks these stereotypes.

Herrman along with Kathryn Mathers, who also worked on the film, released a statement on saying: “Framed has never been about speaking on behalf of Africans but about finding ways to open up Americans to recognise that if they really want to do good in Africa they need to partner with Africans or support their initiatives or work in the US on policies that impact Africans. We want the film to speak to young people who have a sincere energy for change, but haven’t considered the questions Framed is raising.”

While acknowledging that people’s intentions are to do good on the continent, the film presents questions surrounding privilege, influence and the misrepresentation which comes from the relationship of aid.

According to Okay Africa the producers explain, “Images reach us faster today than ever: through Facebook, Twitter, ‘voluntourism’ dispatches, and branded social causes. Our response to the images we see of Africans makes us feel like good, caring people who can make a difference. We want this film to speak to that sincere intention, by taking a second look at the framing of Africa in crisis, and listening to African experiences and perspectives; to explore how our “saving” ultimately undermines the agency and self-determination of Africans, and how we might be complicit in creating the same inequalities we hope to erase.”

Watch the trailer for Framed or visit the film’s website.

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