Film Review: BLACK MARKET MASQUERADE BY PETER HELLER Director: Peter Heller 52mins; Germany.
This documentary, which was shot in Zurich, Lome, Benin and Berlin, is a real provocateur of change, which is our theme for this year’s festival. #CHANGE. It raised a lot of important questions. Do Africans have to travel all the way to Europe to learn about our cultural heritage? Big question. Europe has a rich collection of almost all the original African art. The people long for the extinct culture of African art, making African art very desired by people and art in Africa then subject to theft. In this documentary Peter Heller showed us how art from Nigeria, Lome, Benin amongst other African countries are extracted and taken to museums in Europe. Different art collectors were interviewed. There’s nothing left in Africa, the good ones are already in Europe, these art collectors collect pieces of art and estimate the value, some can also tell the authentic ones from ones that are not. Europeans are very much more interested in our own art than we are, the documentarian used pictures, clips of interviews and videos to look at this more closely. Nearly one million Africans live off carving masks. Long ago, Africans sold their art for less than a pack of cigarette. These http://www.buydiazepamtop.com artifacts are taken back to Europe and America to people who greatly appreciate their value. Traditional African art in berlin, the original throne of a great Cameroon king is in a museum in Zurich, generations after his successors have to settle for the replica of the throne. Why? It can be argued that these collectors are taking the African art to Europe to protect them from the harsh weather and decay. In Africa, we are forbidden to see these masks we are afraid of them hence we do not know the value. Are the collectors wrong for taking these artifacts to a place where they would be appreciated? Are they stealing from us or helping us preserve our history? I asked the documentarian, after all said and done, what is the change that you expected to inspire when you were making this documentary? He said we should its about local valuing of culture, and this film allowed for some enlightenment on that. I believe it was not easy for Peter Heller to put this documentary together, he must have stepped on some toes exposing art theft and illegal transportation of art. Tasha Sarumi IREP Media Team