From March 11 – 18, 2016 the American Film Institute will be hosting the 12th annual New African Film Festival This year, twenty films from fifteen different countries will be shown, including a very special screening from Niger.
Descriptions of these films can be found on the AFI website, but all are meant to celebrate the unique cultures of Africa. Featured this year is the Nigerien RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT, a musical drama that tackles the ambitious goal of borrowing the stylistic musings of Prince’s 1984 classic PURPLE RAIN. Featuring stunning musical performances from Mdou, the film tells the universal story of a rock star trying to overcome jealous competitors, family conflicts, the trials of love, and even his own hubris. This one-night event plays on Friday, March 18, at 7:15 PM.
Trailer for RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT / AKOUNAK TEDALAT TAHA TAZOUGHAI
The screening will take place at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in downtown Silver Spring, starting on Friday, March 11 at 5:00 with the Ethiopian film LAMB. Tickets will be $13 for adults (with special rates for seniors and children), and can be purchased either online here, or in-person at the AFI Silver box office.
Where: American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland
Friday, February 19 at 6:30 PM at the NYC Seminar and Conference Center, 71 West 23rd Street (6th Ave & 23rd Street)
Economic Prosperity, Human Rights, and the Role of Free and Fair Elections – Case Studies Haiti and Niger
A country’s economic development depends on its institutions: its system of government, property rights, land tenure, civil service, and justice. The Inter-Parliamentary Union notes that “In any State the authority of the government can only derive from the will of the people as expressed in genuine, free and fair elections held at regular intervals on the basis of universal, equal and secret suffrage”. What are causes, consequences, and lessons of a breakdown in the electoral system?
Elections are scheduled in Haiti and Niger in the very near future but the campaigns are far from free and fair. In this seminar Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon reviews the situation in Niger, and Kim Ives considers the case of Haiti.
Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon is the Senegal / Niger Country Specialist of Amnesty USA (AIUSA), the Amnesty International’s Section in the US and part of the global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.
Kim Ives is a journalist, broadcaster, documentary filmmaker, and an editor with Haiti Liberte.
Wells4Wellness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing safe, sanitary water wells to the people of Niger, Africa, is holding a spring walk event fundraiser. The Moline-based organization is hoping to raise enough funds to add to the drilling of the next group of 6 wells.
The fundraiser kickoff event is scheduled for Sunday, March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Milltown Coffee, 3800 River Drive, Moline. Guests will sample American and Niger food and desserts, as well as enjoy entertainment and a silent auction. Walkers and walk teams may obtain walk information there. The event is free.
Wells4Wellness is encouraging Quad Citians to walk 10,000 steps per day and pledge pennies towards accumulated miles. Teams are challenged to cumulatively complete a 6,000 mile walk to Niger. Faith Lutheran Church, Moline, and the Reverend Mark Gherke and Parish Nurse Barb Marlin are the first walk team to sign on.
A former nurse turned Executive Director for Wells4Wellness, Pat Herath, Moline, says her many health missionary trips convinced her to help the people of Niger. “There, a child dies every 20 seconds from the effects of contaminated water. Drilling modern wells has a dramatic impact on the health and commerce of the people living in these rural desert communities,” she said.
Wells4Wellness is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the health of rural Niger, Africa by drilling modern water wells. The organization has a goal of drilling 33 wells to help the people of Niger gain access to clean, safe drinking water. For further information, please visit www.wells4wellness.com or phone 309-236-1301.
He talks about being deeply disturbed by the recent chorus of negative and aggressive speech targeting Muslims and refugees in our countries. He urges us to reach out, in large ways and small, to Muslims, refugees and other minorities in our communities.
Now is the time for us to rededicate ourselves to this third goal of the Peace Corps, to commit ourselves to education and constructive dialogue – to the open hand of America, rather than the closed fist.
A great reminder for the new year. Thank you and best wishes for 2016!
A small company led by Jehiel Oliver in Anacostia, D. C., is bringing small, versatile “Smart Tractors” to Nigera and Niger
He devised a business in which farmers send a text to Hello Tractor’s U.S.-based dispatchers, who locate the nearest GPS-embedded Smart Tractor and ping the service provider. The tractors typically arrive within three days.
Read about how this new tractor and business model are bringing increased efficiency to the farmlands.
As reported in the latest Camel Express, President Mammadou Issoufou of Niger joined us for the opening of L’Archive de la République du Niger, or AREN, on April 3 this past spring. AREN is a new archive in the African Studies department at Boston University dedicated to storing Niger-related media, giving easier access to a wide variety of materials dating back more than 50 years.
From the archive’s website:
The Archive of the Republic of Niger at Boston University (AREN) is designed to serve not only as an archive but also as a bridge between Nigerien and American stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic.
We are pleased to share with you the full text of five of the speeches delivered during the opening ceremonies of the Archive:
Memorial Day is about remembering those who have sacrificed their lives in service of this country. Let’s not forget that there is another kind of service for our country, and take a moment to remember the nearly 300 Peace Corps Volunteers who lost their lives during their time abroad: the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers.
Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers is a web site dedicated to these volunteers, with the ultimate goal of honoring their memory with a memorial in Washington, DC. Take a moment to read about these individuals who gave it all:
Anthology Film Archives is airing a movie by filmmaker Christopher Kirkley this weekend. Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai is a rare Tamashek language film, and worth checking out if you’re in New York City this weekend.
Rock & Roll Africa: Tal National Thursday, April 2 | 7:30pm Schimmel Center 3 Pine St. Tickets: $19/$10 with student ID
West African rockers Tal National hail from the small West African nation of Niger which is situated along West Africa’s ancient trade routes and is home to Songhai, Fulani, Hausa and Tuareg people, all of whom are represented in the group.
The band’s hugely popular and entrancing sound is based on guitar and percussion-driven grooves that are bursting with fiery energy and vocalist/band leader Almeida’s powerful voice (he works as a teacher and a judge while still playing five-hour sets with his band most nights of the week).
“Tal National mix energy and precision with an engagingly hybrid style. There are echoes of sped-up desert blues… and reminders of the Fuji tradition of Nigeria, to the south, in some of the percussion. But what makes this band special is their full-tilt approach, and a hypnotic intensity.” –Guardian Culture