A Story Worth Remembering documents an inspiring experiential workshop which Gaia and the African Biodiversity Network hold annually in Botswana. As this film shows so clearly, the process is a transformative one. It allows participants – many of whom are community leaders running their own local organisations across Africa – to break from their daily tasks and to find space to reflect on Africa’s unique traditions, culture and identity. As part of this process the ‘development’ models which have been imposed upon Africa since the colonial period come into question and participants ask themselves who really knows what Africa needs? And has Africa’s true identity been lost or compromised along the way?
The film has been narrated by Ghanaian born, British Actor Hugh Quarshie, who appears in the hospital drama Holby City and starred in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. As October is Black History Month here in the UK, this film opens up important discussion around Africa’s colonial past and how vital it’s own indigenous knowledge and understanding is in shaping its future.
“These communities have their own knowledge, they have lived with it for so many years – for millennia – and they have been able to live harmoniously with the environment…Sometimes we find ourselves – especially those who are from development organisations – just getting to these communities and coming up with new technologies and knowledge from nowhere and then going to impose it to them and these end up wrecking the whole community; a community which was once cohesive, a community which was also very strong!” Tetu Maingi, Project Coordinator of PORINI Association, Kenya. Extract taken from the film.
With special thanks to Colin and Niall Campbell of Ngwenyama Traditional Healers Training School in Botswana, and to Tetu Maingi (Kenya) and Bern Guri (Ghana) for featuring in this film.
To find out more about the Botswana Experience, and hear from those who have taken part in it over recent years click here. You can also read full interview with past partipants Fassil Gebeyehu and Tetu Maingi.