In the spirit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s declaration of 2011 as the Year of the African Diaspora, we at the Brazil Travel Center seek to highlight other areas within the world, besides Brazil, where African cultural influences are witnessed. Alvester Miller III, filmaker and UNC graduate, is on the ground in West Africa surveying the situation there. His posts are presented here:
I arrived in Accra, Ghana on Sunday February 13th for my 2nd visit to West Africa. I was scheduled to land on Saturday morning but the connecting flight from RDU to JFK New York never took off due to mechanical problems. The airline sent me to Atlanta that night, placed me in a hotel, and the next evening I caught a direct flight from Atlanta to Accra instead of from New York to Accra. The spontaneous happens no matter what our plans are at times. All is well though.
I’m still getting settled in. I’ll soon have a local mobile number and will post it once it is registered.
The reason for this trip – FESPACO – takes place on February 26th thru March 5th. FESPACO is one of the largest cultural events in West Africa, and one of the largest on the entire continent for that matter. It is a film, television, media, and creative arts industry event that takes place every two years. It’s the Oscars, Cannes, and Sundance of Africa rolled into a week of festivities, film screenings, seminars, and other events. It happens in the capital city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is the northern neighbor of Ghana.
If you have heard any media reports concerning the civil unrest in Ivory Coast or Cote D’Ivoire concerning the presidential elections, they were actually falsified so there is no concern. Ivory Coast borders Ghana and there is no civil unrest there. Talking with a group of locals connected to the University of Ghana at Legon, they informed me that “outside mainstream” media created the false stories. The “outside mainstream” media is influenced by European and American powers. Interesting.
—Alvester Miller III
More on the 2011 African film festival: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/2011/03/110301_fespaco_day2.shtml