Visa pour l’Afrique aims to explore the huge African continent through a number of movies which describe the distinctive culture, traditions and landscapes of Africa’s various countries, creating a map as wide as possible. We don’t want to focus our attention on the contemporary phenomenon of migration, considering that this issue, though important and involving millions of people every year, is only one of the phenomena affecting contemporary geopolitics.
This time, what we want to highlight is Africa’s cultural heritage, the beauty of its landscapes, the virtues and the contradictions of a group of countries often associated with war and poverty. We invite our audience to obtain a visa (the one every dreamer get) and leave with Concorto for a Grand Tour which will bring us to the lands of our most ancient roots. You’ll have to learn new words: you’ll need them to list the many ways in which the sand accumulate, swirling in the desert, or to describe the dazzling colors of a nature and a land all too often left behind.
The selected shorts
curated by Simone Bardoni e Claudia Praolini
Black America Again by Bradford Young, USA, 2016
Condrong by Gonçalo Almeida, UK, 2016
Dem Dem! by Pape Bouname Lopy, Marc Recchia, Christophe Rolin, Belgio, Luxembourg, Senegal, 2017
Happy Today by Giulio Tonincelli, Italy and France, 2017
Initiation by Teboho Edkins, Germany, South Africa, Lesotho, 2016
Mama Bobo by Robin Andelfinger & Ibrahima Seydi, Belgium, 2017
BLACK AMERICA AGAIN – Bradford Young | as seen by Elena Saltarelli
This Common’s music video can be described as a street ballad with melancholic and tribal connotations.
The aesthetics figure represents a substantial part of the work, played on monochromatic tones and helped by a lyrical photography that intersperses portraits with contemporary dances, new leaves coming from the ancient tree of ritual dances.
The images show us the succession of coloured characters that dance on different parts of the city, united by the urban architecture and the dark colour of their skin, the pride and damnation of their hypermodern lives. The survival of the ancient traits of the communion through the liberation act of the tribal dance save them from the loss of an identity that inside the commingling of peoples and cultures enclosed into the American name is easily forgotten. A little jewel, that can combine awareness and enchantment.
CONDRONG – Gonçalo Almeida | as seen by Claudia Praolini
This short documentary is set in Gambia. Even if we’re dealing with a country with extremely vivid colours, Almeida has chosen a strong black and white to tell his story, a choice that from the beginning conjures a disquieting atmosphere. In this short we are looking for the Condrong through tales and face-to-face meetings in real life. One of the very first frames tells us what the Condrong is: “Not a human being and not a demon; it is a creature of God”. The quest brings us in the most magical and mysterious part of Africa, a part wholly connected with Nature and breeder of beliefs that have survived even today. Notwithstanding the fact that the Gambian population is 94% Islamic and 5% Christian, these great religions did not success in diminishing the power of a mythological universe made of spirits and demons that, still today, haunt the nights of these people.
DEM DEM! – Pape Bouname Lopy, Marc Recchia, Christophe Rolin | as seen by Sofia Brugali
Leaving. This is the title of the short film by Rolin – Recchia – Bouname Lopy, part of the focus devoted to the African continent, in which a Senegalese fisherman decide to leave his land in search of a better future (and present), after finding a Belgian passport. The man’s inner conflict, poised between staying and leaving, finds expression in a series of dualities: the sky and the sea, the man and the woman, the ancient shamanic wisdom and modernity. But what seems broken, eventually comes together: the sky brings the rain to the sea, the man and the woman become one and the shaman accompanies the young protagonist in his decision. A movie to be enjoyed with the eyes and to be valued with the spirit.
HAPPY TODAY – Giulio Tonincelli | as seen by Carlotta Magistris
Happy Today by the Italian Giulio Tonincelli is a documentarist short movie focused on the character of Patricia, a young woman living in a small Ugandan village giving care to the new mothers during the pain and the emotion of giving birth. With an intimate photography and a direction which gives strong and intense images, the movie softly manages to break into one of the most fragile moments in a woman’s life in one of the most fragile places in the world, without falling in easy pietism but also not coming to the impersonality that documentary approaches often reach.
INITIATION – Teboho Edkins | as seen by Silvia Alberti
The mingling of man and nature, vivid colours, group songs: rites that carry us into a world we are often foreign to, the indigenous world. In the state of Lesotho, an enclave territory within the Republic of South Africa, the same challenges of Western civilisations are consumed. One of these is the transition from the age of innocence to adulthood. Ten minutes are enough to cross the borders and win the foreignness.
MAMA BOBO – Robin Andelfinger & Ibrahima Seydi | as seen by Margherita Fontana
Dakar, Senegal. Mama Bobo is an old widow who lives respected by the people of her neighbourhood and loved by her family. Her existence is on the edge of popular legend: everyday she goes to the bus stop and waits for her husband who visits her in dreams and visions, doing something really near to a ritual prayer. The old lady won’t survive the unstoppable change of her city. With Mama Bobo Robin Andelfinger and Ibrahima Seydi tell us a story about the present (and the past) of Senegal, caught in the dilemma between tradition and development. The ancient and mythical spirit of the country, embodied by Mama Bobo, ends up by being disoriented in the city life hustle and bustle. Not without some hope for the future.