[ 18:20 tuesday 14 november – giddipass cafe , tamale , northern ghana ]
this afternoon i got all the girls at tamale girls’ secondary school together and started planning a short film with them . the school is something of a pioneer organisation , the only one in northern ghana focusing on girls’ education . it’s currently housed in fairly decrepit buildings with the main road on one side and a car repair yard on the other . there’s no guarantee that the landlord won’t evict them if a more profitable tenant comes along . the girls come from far and wide but there is not enough dormitory space for all those who must stay so some classrooms are seconded as sleeping-quarters at night . others become waterlogged in the rainy season .
feminist issues have never been of particular interest to me but i have been very much moved by my experiences with these girls . in a society where everything is stacked against them they have somehow found the confidence to demand a future on their own terms . i find them rather inspiring and i hope i can be of use to them .
the school was one of the first projects ann and camfed supported here in ghana , providing uniforms , books and food to girls who would otherwise not be able to enrol . but a plan is now afoot to build a completely new campus better fitted for its task and in a more suitable location . for this a considerable amount of money must be raised .
what i want to do is to help the girls (there are about sixty of them) to use digital video to send a direct message to funders in europe and america , communicating who they are , what the school means to them and why they need support . today’s discussion kicked off that process .
the girls will be in charge of the whole process and going by today’s discussion the result will be impressive .
in my view this is the real transformative potential of digital communication technologies : their ability to empower marginalised people and communities to speak for themselves . this belief underpins much of the work i am doing and is central to the digital workshop model .