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'FRAMED' Documentary Explores The Images & Myths That Cast A Continent As A Victim

FRAMED documentary investigates what's behind the West's fascination with "saving Africa"


In FRAMED, documentary filmmakers Cassandra Herman and Kathryn Mathers follow Boniface Mwangifounder of PAWA254, as he explores the attraction of "saving Africa" and investigates the images and myths that cast a continent as a victim.  FRAMED, turns a lens on popular representations of Africa and Africans, as seen through the eyes of Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina and South African born educator Zine Magubane, who ask a chorus of questions about the selling of suffering.

Recognizing that people want to do good in Africa, the film raises questions about privilege, power and the misrepresentation that arises from the relationship of aid. "Images reach us faster today than ever: through Facebook, Twitter, 'voluntourism' dispatches, and branded social causes," explain the producers. "Our response to the images we see of Africans makes us feel like good, caring people who can make a difference. We want this film to speak to that sincere intention, by taking a second look at the framing of Africa in crisis, and listening to African experiences and perspectives; to explore how our “saving” ultimately undermines the agency and self-determination of Africans, and how we might be complicit in creating the same inequalities we hope to erase."

Hoping to incite not only discussion, but also self-evaluation the film takes a look at hashtag campaigns like #StopKony and more recently #BringBackOurGirls and prompts us to consider how and where we do good in the world. "Why did millions of young Americans seem to be angrier about a faraway Ugandan tyrant than two protracted wars, a shattered economy, and social inequality at home?  Why is it easier to engage online or overseas rather than in our own communities? At a time when many Americans are struggling to find a job or put food on the table or pay for mounting student debt, we think that FRAMED will inspire young people to tackle social inequality locally and nationally," the producers challenge.

What FRAMED hopes to impart is the complexity surrounding humanitarian interventions and how hashtag campaigns oversimplify political or social issues. Moreover the film highlights African writers and artists contributing to the combat against "saving Africa." Check out the trailer for the FRAMED documentary above.

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Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina smiles during an interview with the AFP on January 27, 2014, in Nairobi. (Photo: SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

'The Most Audacious Writer I Know:' the African Literary Community Reflects on Binyavanga Wainaina's Legacy

The Kenyan literary icon and LGBTQ activist is being celebrated and remembered for his "fearlessness."

Binyavanga Wainaina was one of the continent's boldest voices. As an openly gay Kenyan man and activist, he put himself on the line to challenge bigotry and anti-gay sentiments in his country. As an author, he denounced trite narratives about African life—often with great wit—and offered perspective and nuance instead.

His extensive works include the famous satirical essay How to Write About Africa and "I am Homosexual Mum," in which the author imagined coming out to his late mother. "Binyavanga has demystified and humanized homosexuality," Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote of him in his 2014 Time 100 Most Influential People profile. The two sat down for a conversation back in 2011 at the Lannan Foundation, in which Adichie described Wainaina as "one of her best friends."

He earned a Caine Prize in 2002 for his short story "Discovering Home," and went on to create the literary magazine Kwani. His memoir, "One Day I Will Write About This Place" was published in 2012. His entire archive, from his earlier writings in various South African publications to some of his more recent and well-known works, are listed on the site planetbinya.com. The extensive works listed, illustrate the writer's invaluable contribution to the African literary community and his dedication to combatting the erasure of LGBTQ identity in Africa.

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SOUTH AFRICA—IndiePix Films, in a distribution partnership with Retro Afrika Bioscope has restored 48 vintage South African films—that were previously opposed under apartheid— with plans to re-release them on digital streaming services. The company plans to release 48 films for its "Vintage Afrika" collection, 20 of them are available now on IndiePix Unlimited, the company's signature streaming service. Read more on the re-releases here.

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Nigerian Artist Ben Enwonwu's Painting 'Christine' was Recently Auctioned Off in London

The owner of the painting Googled the signature on the artwork and only then realized its enormous value.

The late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu is considered the "Father of African Modernism". His 1974 painting of the Ife princess, Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, was dubbed the "African Mona Lisa" by veteran Nigerian author Ben Okri. The painting of the the young royal of Ife, an ancient Yoruba city in the south-western region of Nigeria, was discovered last year in a London flat after having disappeared for close to four decades. The artwork was then sold a few weeks later for a record-breaking USD 1.6 million More recently, his 1971 painting entitled "Christine", was auctioned off in London after the family who owed it Googled the signature on the painting and realized its enormous value.

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Watch Solo’s Music Video for ‘Two by Two’

The video shows highlights from Solo's wedding.

This morning, Solo shared the visuals for "Two by Two," the lead single to the South African rapper's latest album C.Plenty.Dreams.

"Two by Two" features BETR Gang member, Solo's long-time collaborator and producer, Buks. "Two by Two" sees the rapper open up about his admiration for his wife and admits he will always seek guidance from his parents.

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