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Thrill of 27th Annual Pan African Festival

One of the main goals of the festival is to create dialogue and education through film and the arts.

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Linus has used the power of the media to bring awareness to child marriage, which affects girls around the world. Pixabay

More than 100 artisans and 170 films from around the world are being showcased at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

The multiday event in the largely African American neighborhood of Baldwin Hills aims to connect Africans to people of African descent from around the world.

“As a result of the slave trade and colonization, African people are spread all over the planet, so we get a chance through this festival, get a chance to know each other,” said the festival’s executive director, Ayuko Babu.

Film, fine art, fashion and jewelry with Africa as inspiration are all featured at the festival.

“I never think of us as African American. I think of us as Africans in America, and in coming from that perspective, the ancestral lineage of art and Africa is beyond belief,” said jewelry artist Henry Baba Osageyfo Colby of Timbuktu Art Colony.

FILE - Nigerian filmmaker and actress Stephanie Okereke Linus poses for a photograph during a ceremony to unveil her as the UNFPA Regional Ambassador for Maternal Health in West and Central Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, March 8, 2017.
Nigerian filmmaker and actress Stephanie Okereke Linus poses for a photograph during a ceremony to unveil her as the UNFPA Regional Ambassador for Maternal Health in West and Central Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, March 8, 2017. VOA

Film festival

Filmmakers from around the world, such as Nigerian director and actress Stephanie Linus, also attended the festival.

“Connecting all of us to film that is especially about us and we can see a reflection of ourselves and tell our stories and get a better understanding about where I’m coming from,” said Linus, who presented her movie, Dry, at the festival.

The film is about child marriage and the devastating effects of the practice. It is a social issue in Nigeria that surprised Linus when she first learned about it while attending college.

“I’m like, ‘Oh my God, can you believe that we’re living in the same country? We’re having two totally different experiences.’ We in the south (of Nigeria) are able to go to school, have an education, decide what happens to our bodies, and there’s some people up in the north where they don’t even have those choices.”

Linus has used the power of the media to bring awareness to child marriage, which affects girls around the world.

“I’m happy that people have taken proactive action because we screened the movie in Gambia and a month later, the government banned child marriage in Gambia,” Linus said.

Dialogue and education

One of the main goals of the festival is to create dialogue and education through film and the arts.

Also Read: UK Parliamentary Report Highlights Facebook Acting as ‘Digital Gangsters’

“We know there’s profound things happening around the black world, and so this is a way to amplify that make people pay attention,” Babu said.

This year’s festival opened Feb. 7 and runs through Feb. 18. (VOA)

Next Story

India Should Crack Down Upon The Terror Sympathizers Within The Country

The road to a victory must be undisclosed. More so, when our enemies within the country are more insidious, more intelligent, more brutal and more warlike

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They have systematically misled and “incited” millions of our Indians to voice against the Indian ethos, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. But mind, all these formidable forces are sweet-hearts of the media.

By: Salil Gewali

After the terrible Pulwama attack by Pakistan sponsored terrorists, India is apparently standing up. Yes, it is practically gearing towards the better strategies to “hit the evil heads”. True, the realization that the enemies are getting more “brutal” and more inhumane than ever before should make India realistic and visionary. Of course, our “battles” to fight against are many, because the adversaries are of various kinds.  While India should send its army deep into the terrorists’ hideouts in Pakistan, India should also “spare its thought” in dealing with those forces who eat, drink and luxuriate in the facilities provided by India, but their hearts ache for something others. There are an increasing number of forces which even try to disestablish the nation and its integrity.

What more? When the questions of sedition are raised against those dangerous forces then the media comes forward to denounce the whole country. Are Kanhaiya  Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Shehla Rashid Shora, Mr. Jignesh Mewani, Arundhati Roy, Rajdeep Sardesai, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdulla,.. ….  and lot many other leaders from Kashmir….. not inciting our youths?

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There are an increasing number of forces which even try to disestablish the nation and its integrity.

                 They have systematically misled and “incited” millions of our Indians to voice against the Indian ethos, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. But mind, all these formidable forces are sweet-hearts of the media. The “treacherous adventures” of those people make the majority of Indian intellectuals cheerier and lustier! Each anti-nationalist “scream” by these elements never get wasted. It is effectively used to degrade the nation, demean the culture and denigrated the religion!

The notion of “discrimination” against the particular community or particular religion is in factcreated in the newsrooms. The idea of “intolerance”, which was coined by those people to attack the majority, has just vanished into thin air when the same term was applied otherwise!

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Each anti-nationalist “scream” by these elements never get wasted. It is effectively used to degrade the nation, demean the culture and denigrated the religion!

              My serious questions —  “has India practically failed to treat its country’s citizens lovingly? Has India ever discriminated its citizens on the basis of religions and languages?” Absolutely not. Here in India the minorities are provided especial facilities, they are well caressed and insanely pampered than the majority.

                       But still, the elite intellectuals and media houses blame the government or certain parties and organizations, and deliberately “ferment the anti-nation” feelings. Bhakt, Sangi are overused terms to belittle any persons who show love towards the nation. Who knows, after few years from now, it will be considered as a crime to praise the country and its culture. Please watch out, enough is enough! India should not faff about any longer. Rather, it should find ways to come down heavily upon such dangerous forces. Bluntly speaking, India should hold down and deal appropriately those subversive forces with equal seriousness and urgency!

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The TV channels round the clock struggle to broadcast almost every inch of the army’s movement.

Well, the recent three successful strikes by India on 26th February should not be a case of joy either. Because today’s joy could bring a load of sorrows tomorrow! What is most important is the “silent preparedness” for the battles. It can only ensure an easy victory.  The noises only contribute to shaking the firmness and determination of our military forces.

Also Read:  Cloak And Dagger: Indo-Bangla Ties

                 Is it not too childish that we get prior information as to the plans and modus operandi of our fighters onWhatsApp and Facebook these days? I think it is too disgusting; it is ludicrous! The TV channels round the clock struggle to broadcast almost every inch of the army’s movement. Why are the sensitive action plans discussed to the bone in the newsrooms? A bigger mission should be executed under the cover of privacy. Please kindly note we have an equal number of enemies within the country.  Those within the countries may be passionately working to weaken India and its ethos rather than making it stronger. The road to victory must be undisclosed.  More so, when our enemies within the country are more insidious, more intelligent, more brutal and more warlike.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.