As Women's History Month Ends, Watch Documentary 'The Power of Art: Women’s Voices in Africa'
Photo Credit: S & A

As Women's History Month Ends, Watch Documentary 'The Power of Art: Women’s Voices in Africa'

“Africa is not only a continent of war and crisis. There is also an Africa that is alive and well, and is often borne by women.”

The below film opens with those words by Odile Sorgho-Moulinier of the United Nations Development Program which predates author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s popular TED Talk, The Danger of the Single Story. Both, in effect, calls to action for those outside of Africa (especially those who actually believe it’s a country), who have been fed a “single” story for decades, to challenge themselves in the often rather limited ways in which they perceive the continent and the people who live within it.

Directed by Claudine Pommier, this 50-minute long documentary titled The Power of Art: Women’s Voices in Africa, explores how contemporary African women who choose to be professional artists deal with the stereotypes associated with being an African and a woman. The film also explores the role professional artists throughout Africa may play in addressing the challenges women are faced with on the continent.

Claudine Pommier is a Canadian filmmaker and visual artist whose credits include Toumani Diabaté, The Voice of the Kora and The Art of Women of Tiebele. When asked what drew her to her documentary’s subject, she said: “I worked with artists in African countries, in workshops, exhibitions, mural paintings. In most cases, I was the only woman, which was quite intriguing. So I decided to look for women artists, and make a documentary film about what I would find.”

Adding that the film tracks how women artists are changing perceptions of themselves and their countries, Pommier also said: “There is no doubt that art is vital for women to express their views about their identity, their rights within conservative societies that don’t accept them as culture producers.”

As Women’s History Month 2018 in the USA ends, watch the documentary The Power of Art: Women’s Voices in Africa in full, below (or add it to your weekend viewing list):

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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