About AfricAvenir International Windhoek
AfricAvenir Windhoek emerged in the year 2007, seeing the overwhelming socio-political and cultural structures being shaped by the Apartheid-past. A group of young cultural activists saw the need to overcome the dominance of euro-centristic viewpoints in the cultural and socio-political activ scene in Namibia. By providing platforms on African thoughts and ideas through exhibitions, film events, workshops, and dissemination of African literature, AfricAvenir partners with institutions and projects seeking to decolonize the mind of Namibians, who have been shaped by over 100 years of colonialism and a fierce liberationstruggle leading to independence only in 1990.
In 2007 AfricAvenir Windhoek initiated "African Perspectives", a monthly African filmseries in Windhoek, which attracts more and more attention from the public.
Being committed to the goals of an African Renaissance, "African Perspectives" is a corner stone of AfricAvenir's work, since filmmakers are today's griots, giving us access to unknown or forgotten African history, cultures, customs, languages, needs, and stories told by the ancestors.
AfricAvenir’s screenings in Namibia provide platforms for critical African perspectives on issues of social sciences, culture, daily life, history, memory, consciousness, morality, attitude and creativity, relevant for the Namibian society. A challenge one faces is to avoid being overwhelmed by the powerful cultural imperialism that seeks to penetrate African societies through films, TV, the internet and other mass media. A response to this challenge is to support and to cultivate African value systems through the sharing of literature, films, the products of creative art, that portray Africa more “authentically” and different from the dominant eurocentristic cultures conveyed by today's mass media.
By screening African films, we enhance cultural exchange, develop storytelling skills and encourage Namibians to tell their own stories, create discussions on arts-/cultural related topics in Namibia, and herewith we actively support audience development and educational activities.
In the specific Namibian context, one also has to realize, that by buying foreign films and not having ones own products to sell nationally and internationally the national economy looses revenues. In addition foreign films have a negative impact on the Namibian society, since they continue to cause an effect, which can best be described as cultural alienation and social disorientation.
Hence, the aim of “African Perspectives” is to counteract the dwindling socio-political examination of Africa and its increasing ahistorical and apolitical perception, and to provide new inputs for the work of civil society groups, arts- and educational bodies, non-governmental organisations, cultural associations, cultural centres and foundations in Windhoek. More specifically, “African Perspectives” wants to overcome the marginalization of the audience and to contribute creating an audience and screening culture of African cinema. By doing so, we want to support a vibrant and sustainable film industry in Namibia that can tell a Namibian and an African story in the right perspective.
Furthermore we want to support the cultural exchange between African societies. Since we are screening cinematic products from all over Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, so to say, we envision, that this will contribute to the cultural exchange between Namibia and other African countries. Through the medium of film, the filmmakers tell their local stories and depict their environment and beliefs. Hence, the Namibian audience learns about different African cultures, customs, languages etc.