Last Friday night, Indego Africa hosted its third annual Ibirori Gala in New York City. Briefly transforming the venue into an independent arthouse cinema during the event, Indego Africa premiered a micro-documentary inviting viewers into the lives of Emelienne Nyirumana and her fellow artisan women at Cocoki.
Although neither film critic nor unbiased spectator, I was inspired by an enlightening conversation with a fellow airplane passenger to share a bit about what this film means to me.
This film speaks loudly of pride – pride of presentation, of learning, of artisanry, in individual and group accomplishments, and in sharing and storytelling. You could see the gushing pride of Darius Habamenshi as he summoned his pupils together to begin their literacy lessons. You could see the rejoicing pride of Emelienne when she throws up her hands above her head having, without script or opportunity for rehearsal, shared in English her story and her gratitude. You could see the irrepressible pride of Jacqueline and the other artisan women of Cocoki as they invited you into their workshop, their cooperative, and their lives. (Emelienne with her proud mom during the video shoot in the photo above).
Folded back into the context of its Ibirori Gala screening, this film also reverberates with pride in partnership and true community. On that night, event guests ranging from formally-clad business folk to elegantly-garbed Africa Fashion Week personalities felt true community with 35 artisan women in Kicukiro, who in turn felt true community with poised Rwandan university students in Kigali, who in turn felt true community with and within Indego Africa.
And so, as you view this footage, let your own pride swell and let yourself feel entranced by your own membership – newly-formed or otherwise – in this powerful global community. It only takes four minutes to view, but I promise that you will, like me, be beaming from it for days to come.
Link for you blog subscribers HERE.
- Conor French