The Black Lives Matter movement has lit a fire under international conversations about the nature of our societies, including questions about the under-representation and indeed misrepresentation of racialised lives in media.
And while many eyes right now are examining deep structural racial injustices with renewed energy, both in the US and here in Ireland, we wanted to bring some attention to an aspect of this that touches on international development work and neo-colonialism.
Our July #firstweds will screen ‘Stop Filming Us’ (2020) by director Joris Postema, described by the Movies that Matter Festival as “an important contribution to the crucial discussion about Western filmmaking and neocolonialism of the African continent.”
We will follow the screening with an online panel discussion around the issues and themes raised and what they mean for international development, anti-racist practice and the continual need to interrogate (and challenge) neocolonialism in our media
The screening kicks off at 7pm running for 55 mins and we will update with a link provided by the film distributors asap. The discussion starts at 8pm at this link. https://youtu.be/OTD9xIoD21Y. Make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel to get a notification to your device. The film’s main languages are Swahili and French. English subtitles will accompany the screening
To discuss the film we are delighted to be joined by
For our panel – facilitated by Eilish Dillon from our FirstWeds partner the Department of International Development in Maynooth – we’ll be joined by Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, Alphonse Basogomba and Caoimhe Butterly.
Chiamaka is a writer, performer, arts facilitator, and literary editor. Her work is published in Poetry International 25, Poetry Ireland Review 129, RTÉ Poetry Programme, IMMA Magazine, Architecture Ireland, The Irish Times, Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets anthology (Dedalus Press 2019, co-edited by Pat Boran & Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi) and The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories (Head of Zeus 2020, edited by Sinead Gleeson).
Alphonse is currently Chair of the Intercultural and Diversity Education Centre (IDEC-Ireland CLG), and runs a diversity and inclusion consultancy called Buheri Consult. He has been in Ireland since 2004, 11 years of which he spent living in Direct Provision. He holds a Masters in Peace and Development Studies and is polyglot, speaking 3 European languages (French, English, and Russian) and 3 African languages (Burundian, Rwandese, Swahili).
Caoimhe is an educator, trainee psychotherapist, documentary film-maker and human rights/social justice activist. She has spent the past over 20 years working with refugee communities and those engaged in migratory journeys, in various parts of the world, with a focus on women. She is presently working with Comhlamh on a project focusing on resilience, trauma and psycho-social resourcing.
Comhlámh is grateful for the support of Concern for our #FirstWeds events
For this July event we are additionally grateful for funding support from ERASMUS+ and for our partnership with Zavod Voluntariat on E-TICK, our brand new online course on ethical communication. E-TICK is a self-study, 4 module course offering a range of lessons, activities and resources connected to the theme of visual literacy and ethical communication. You can check it out here www.ethicalcommunication.org
ABOUT THE FILM (from the film maker)
A growing group of young adults in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo are resisting the one-sided reporting about their city; reporting that only shows stereotypical images of war, violence, illness and poverty, which is the result of years of Western domination. Such images do not reflect the reality in which they live in.
In STOP FILMING US, filmmaker Joris Postema shows the struggle that journalist Ley Uwera, photographer Mugabo Baritegera and filmmaker Bernadette Vivuya deal with when trying to capture and show their own experience of life in Goma. There are 250 Western NGOs in Goma and the image of a non-functioning government and a helpless population fits into this NGO-dominated economy.
Mugabo tries to show the beauty of life in Goma and Bernadette tries to do everything possible to finance a film about her vision of Goma’s colonial past. Ley also works for Western NGOs and because of this she regularly finds herself in an ideological battle: either work for a well-paid Western reporting organization or work unpaid as a freelance reporter but be able to have her own opinions. What are their perspectives and how do they feel about the dark sides of Goma?
The question arises whether a Western filmmaker is able to capture anything of truth about this complex, damaged and beautiful country. Is this even possible after the way the Western imagery has been used? Is the filmmaker part of the ‘white savior complex’ and just wants to clear his conscience? Do Western ‘good intentions’ only cause destruction and frustration? With the open confrontations that the filmmaker enters into with the characters and the local crew, he tries to bring the mutual (subconscious) assumptions to the surface; the prejudices provide a deeper insight into the inequality of power that lies under the mechanism of Western imaging.