Documentary explores the West's fascination with "saving" Africa
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:56
Screen grab from Framed
Director and producer Cassandra Herrman's documentary takes a
look at Western societys 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
Herrman along with Kathryn Mathers, who also worked on the film, released a
statement on www.africasacountry.com 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 havent considered the questions
Framed is raising.
While acknowledging that peoples 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
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