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Namibian film premiere of "Africa Shafted: Under one roof"by Ingrid Martens, Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 6:30 pm, at Goethe Centre

Each year, on June 20, the United Nations celebrates World Refugee Day. On Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 6:30 pm, AfricAvenir Windhoek and the FNCC present the Namibian film premiere of Africa Shafted: Under one roof by South African Director Ingrid Martens, South Africa 2011, 50 min.

The World Refugee Day is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. The screening of Africa Shafted: Under one roof honours the courage, the strength, and determination of women, men, and children, who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

Synopsis:

The German writer Norman Ohler described Johannesburg’s Ponte City, Africa’s tallest residential building, thus: “Ponte sums up all the hope, all the wrong ideas of modernism, all the decay, all the craziness of the city. It is a symbolic building, a sort of white whale, it is concrete fear, the tower of Babel, and yet it is strangely beautiful.”

A new documentary by Ingrid Martens, Africa Shafted: Under one roof, adds to the wide variety of cultural and artistic interest in Ponte, home to around 4000 people in Hillbrow, on the edge of downtown Johannesburg. A story of African's never seen before, all in one space, Africa's tallest apartment building.

A film constructed entirely of elevator conversations. This simple and uncompromising idea provides a beautiful clarity of form. All the filming takes place in one of 8 lifts that travel 54 floors everyday and provide a platform for people from all walks of life to engage with the camera and tell their story.

The film purports to look at xenophobia through situating itself in the intense and somewhat claustrophobic surrounding of the tower lifts, which link the 54 stories, housing nationalities from all across Africa. In these lifts, the film encounters residents and their feelings toward one another.

 

The film captures the views and opinions of ordinary people from every corner of the African continent who have been seen as scary, undeserving, criminal, drug sellers by so many in post-apartheid South Africa. Instead what you see in this documentary are diverse ordinary people, each with a dream of a better life, and wisdom to share.

While in contrast you also hear the very prejudice that led to the tragic xenophobic attacks. The film ends one-month before the brutal outbreak of xenophobic attacks that until today is still an ongoing tragic chapter in South Africa’s history.

The lift allows you interact with people from every corner of Africa, and so does the music. The film features prominently the music of Namibia’s very own Jackson Kaujeua. The film’s soundtrack speaks of the diversity of Ponte’s residents, and one that musicians from several different countries contributed to. The film features prominently the music of Namibia’s very own Jackson Kaujeua.

Director Ingrid Martens, who also produced, wrote and edited the film, hopes that with the backup of this eclectic soundtrack, the documentary will be used as a tool to educate people about the realities of xenophobia, and the prominent social issues faced in an African city like Johannesburg.

Date: Wednesday 12 June 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium

This screening is made possible through the financial assistance of the Finnish Embassy.

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2013

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