In a remote lake of Uganda, girls who were getting pregnant before marriage were abandoned on the tiny island of Akampene, aka Punishment Island. Here most died, but some were saved by men in search of free brides.
Laura Cini, an Italian filmmaker, went to the area on 2011 to look for survivors. The mission was successful and now she completed a hour documentary on the story which was supported by crowdfunders and the Italian Ministry of Culture. Premiering soon.
In the end we have chosen Ulule, an European platform that allows content to be published in different languages, so we will have all contents (video and texts) in an English version and in an Italian one. I do mind that we can't have one in Swahili though... We are just waiting, impatiently, for the platform to put our project online and then we will publish the link for you to check out our campaign. See you soon! In the meanwhile some pictures about the presentation yesterday in Florence!
We apologize as we have left the blog to itself in the last 10 days or so. We were very busy preparing the crowdfunding campaign and shooting the pitch video was much more difficult than planned. As a documentarist, I ask people to be real and expose themselves in front of a camera, which means in front of anybody. Generally, a documentary really works when it manages to get inside a person, feel his/her humanity, grab his/her inner secrets, frailties, flaws. Well, having to be in front of the camera this time, I realized how much I am asking from people. It has been difficult, but it was also liberating in the end. And now I feel an even stronger connection with the people whose stories I want to tell. I am sure that this experience will be precious when I will be in front of them again trying to capture their emotions. We will be online with the crowfunding campaign very very soon now. Thanks for following us.
On the 30th of October we are meeting you in the city centre. It is an event organized by three leading women associations based in Florence. On this occasion we will present the documentary, ourselves, show the inedited trailer and explain the crowdfunding campaign. An anthropologist of the Univertsity of Florence will also give a brief speech about women and taboos in the world.
Countdown to crowdfunding starts. Shortly we will start a campaign on Indiegogo, an International platform, choosing the option all or nothing. This guarantees all supporters that their money won't be waisted. If we won't raise the amount set (which is the bare minimum needed to get to the next and most urgent stage), then all supporters will get refunded. If we get more, then we will do things a bit more comfortably (which means suffering a little less, and assuring better quality to our work). In the lucky event we should get much more, we will commission the entire series of drawings which are part of the documentary and carry on with production. So we count on your support, and if you can't give directly, you can still help by passing it on. There will be little rewards for the various contributions. If you have something to suggest, please do (we may consider it, we have a few more days to go). Thanks. In the meanwhile we are waiting for something very special to be published from Kampala. And if you haven't seen yet, have a look at this introductory video.
Fifth article introducing you to culture and geography of Lake Bunyonyi.
All over Uganda, women are
subordinated to men, despite the huge social and economic responsibilities that
women have in many rural Ugandan communities. Women started to engage in
politics in the years of independence, when they tried to obtain laws
concerning marriage, divorce and inheritance, especially in regard to property
rights and custody of children. But during the seventies and eighties, each small
progress was destroyed by the violence which raged in the country. Social and
economical degrade and the lapse of public services and infrastructures reduced
access to schools, hospitals and markets, making life conditions for women even
tougher than ever before.
In the last part of the
eighties, Museveni’s government worked to eliminate gender discriminations in
politics and official practices. The number of women in parliament has increased and since 1976 the
Ugandan Association of Women Lawyers is providing legal services to women
defending their rights in case of divorce, separation and widowhood.
in rural communities with low access to education, very few progresses have
been made towards equal rights. Land is vital in the
culture of local communities as they get from it their entire livelihood. But
traditional roles have completed transformed in the last decades. Men have no
more bushes to clean nor huts to build. As a consequence, it is women who
interact with the land on a daily basis, while majority of men is unemployed
and not taking responsibility for the care of the children.
Hello, who is in Florence on the 30th of October is invited to attend an afternoon event where we will introduce the project, screen the unseen trailer and present ourselves. We will publish the program soon.
The very first time I went to
Uganda, I wanted to go to Malawi, really. I had been dreaming of Malawi for a
long time, seen pictures of that beautiful lake which looks like a sea, heard
amazing reports from travellers. I was seeing myself sitting by those golden
beaches talking to Malawian mzee about life and the universe,
quite naively I must admit. I even wrote my dissertation in Human Geography on
Malawi, with the intent of doing research on field. Life had other plans
though, like often happens. I had to postpone any travelling arrangements, for
a health problem. So I wrote my thesis without going there. About the fight
between little Malawi and the huge World Bank on the ongoing discussion "Free
Market versus State Intervention", which Malawi won at that time, subsiding
their farmers. But that’s another story.
When I could finally travel,
it had to be Malawi, but I wanted to find something to do there. Don't like
much travelling in Africa as a tourist. After knowing from my Ugandan friend
that the word mzungu originally means “someone who roams around aimlessly”, I
understood that it is probably why. Ok, searching on the web for something
clever to do in Malawi, I saw a picture of this dreamlike place. Didn't have a
clue where it was, but it was definitely love at first sight. It didn’t even
look like it was part of this world, but in case it was, I had to go there. If
I was very lucky it could even have been Malawi. It turned up to be Uganda,
region of Kigezi, district of Kabale, Lake Bunyonyi. I found an association
there, Edirisa, contacted it and was asked to work on a documentary to
promote craftsmaking. Great and clever enough. Got a little camera and went,
dying to see that beautiful place. It didn’t let me down. Even if it was hard,
at first. Sitting by myself in my hut with just candle light at 8pm - and one
match only on the first night -, heavy rain falling on the metal roof, mud all
over the outside which made toilet trips out of question, nothing to munch on,
and Teddy the dog – sadly not longer with us –barking loudly and excessively at
the moon. Not to mention those freaking African dolls sitting on a shelf and
staring at me. “Breath”, I was saying to myself!