"Big challenges, little sleep, lots of fun." That's how Estonian Barnabás Tóth summed up the DW Akademie's East4South production workshops.
It was the fourth and last round of the EU-financed project East4 South to develop exchanges between people in the media industries in Africa and Europe. Since the beginning of 2012, 30 European youth journalists have gotten the chance to work with experienced colleague from Sub-Saharan Africa on themes in development.
The highlight of the undertaking was a weeks-long research trip to the home countries of the African partners.
The teams met again at the DW Akademie in Bonn to work on post-production. Shortly before the presentation of their films, they met with My DW. Tóth, his partner Christian Katsuva Kamate from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ekke Vasli from Estonia and Odelia Ofori from Ghana described their experiences.
What topics did you cover in your films?
Ekke Vasli: The working title is "Sodom and Gomorra," about the biggest slum in Accra, Ghana. It has a horrible reputation which is given by the media, especially the local media. Odelia and I wanted to discover how that affects the people, and how media is affecting people in general.
Odelia Ofori: I thought it would be nice to report differently than what international media report on Africa, and also differently than what we Ghanaians report about ourselves. I want to change the negative perception about Africa for my home country itself, and also change everything negative for the internationally community.
Christian Katsuva Kamate: The project is geared towards western viewers. Most NGO founders are from the west. [The goal] is to show them that something is being done, and that if there is something to give, they should give. And the second objective is for viewers in our country, to show them what NGOs from the west are doing, that they are helping. Lastly, I'd like to show the message behind the lives of these children.
Barnabás Tóth: Although they have a horrible past, they are still so positive, still thinking about how they can help their parents when they leave home. That is like a miracle to me. They are children.
What challenges did you have while working together?
Christian Katsuva Kamate: What I learned from my European colleagues, and especially from Barnabás, was that sometimes, we Ghanaian journalists give up and don’t insist if we don’t get something. But you have to insist. Sometimes it put me in an uncomfortable situation. But it was a good lesson.
Ekke Vasli: Ghana is such a nice place, with very nice people. People are very helpful. You ask one person for directions, and ten people answer you and direct you to the right place.
Interview: Mona Emamzadeh
Edited by: Jeanette Müller