irep News & Reports

Review – Keynote Address by Jane Mote, “DOCUMENTARY AS AGENT PROVOCATEUR”

  Jane Mote‘s Keynote address was very stimulating and enthralling.  First and foremost, she began by telling us that it was her first time to visit Nigeria, and that she loved the warmness of the people and they special welcome. Having supported Ugandan Filmmaker Carol Kayma, she decided to make films herself.  She told her story of having worked with the BBC London together for some years and then returned to Africa to train a group of youth in Uganda for better impact. They realized that Western filmmakers were not honoring the legacies of the Ugandan people. She said “Images are powerful and wrongly used. They can create false stories that shape generations of views”.  She cited the example of the visit of the British Queen to Uganda in 1953; a barefoot girl beautifully dressed was chosen to offer the Queen a bouquet of flowers. This was meant to be a happy moment, but the “filmmakers” told her to take of her shoes to create the kind of image the world was seemingly meant to see of Africa. After several years the original story had to be told and made public. Jane Mote participants She has a passionate belief that everyone can tell their stories, about their identity. She believes that such documentaries and storytelling must stand out. Some stories are central to lies and we can take control of our stories now, using social media to sell our stories to the world. To conclude in part, her keynote emphasized the need for Africans to use their art “to document the world honestly telling their own stories about who they are. Her speech was essentially postcolonial style, in spite of her nationality as British, one and the one that possess that knack for the belief in cultural identity. Some of the documentaries she made references too that marked themselves out to be quite exceptional, that subverts European notions about Africa, and that tries to tell the truth as it is are as follows: The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheime, Finding FELA by Alex Gibney  but to mentioned a few.

  • Imoh Eboh