Sherbro Son

Salone Surviving & Shining

If you have a half hour check out the documentary called Lost Freetown on issues of development in Sierra Leone (Double-click on the video because embedding was disabled):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Lost Freetown – Sierra Leone“, posted with vodpod

I was linked to it through Twitter by my friend Banker White last night.  Banker has a great project he’s in the process of starting called We Own TV. Watch an introductory film to the project by Black Nature of the Refugee All Stars.

These kind of development project are really what Sierra Leone needs, but I can’t help but worry in these times of economic downturn if of the money for such projects will be directed in other places.

That reminds me of a project by another Sierra Leonean brother, Lamin over at Dutty Artz.  Check out his recession raps posts and podcast.  While we worry over jobs and future financial security, I wonder what true economic destruction would do to a place like the U.S.

What I see illustrated in the video is that people in the poor parts of Freetown are living on survival mode.  This is the mode akin to what people in the states saw after Katrina, or other natural disasters.  The difference is right now in Freetown, people never get out of survival mode.  Those who are fortunate enough to travel abroad often get a break, but many people live that reality their whole life.  On the flip side in the U.S. often times people never even enter into survival mode.  The interview with Arthur Pratt on the We Own TV he says that if people enter into theater (or another artistic expression) they start to think about life more deeply.  It takes them out of survival mode.

banana_island_-_sierra_leone

Another development project that interests me greatly is the eco-tourism illustrated on Banana Islands.  My ancestral homeland is Bonthe district, and my father was born on Sherbro Island in Bonthe town.  That area was hit hard by the war, but I would love to go there and do work in that part of the provinces.  There are plans for the building of an airport making it prime for that kind of eco-tourism and a deep history that would lend it to the kind of opportunities afforded on Gorre Island.  Cultural expression, environmental clean up, hey let’s get some green energy in there and jobs that pay wages, health care and education soon behind.  All this talk about stimulus packages in the U.S. just keeps me wondering about Sierra Leone.

Lastly check out my post over at Ghetto Bassquake on Sierra Leone’s Bubu music.  Let’s increase the visibility of issues in Sierra Leone and poor communities around the world.  Interest leads to investment.

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One comment

  1. Lamin

    Freetown is clogged up, dense and over-crowded, its infrastructure just won’t keep up, pollution levels are soaring, and still there are flickers of hope, enormous potential, but we have a long way to go.

    To a certain extent, these are all things I am aware of and I have been aware of for a couple of years, but this documentary condensed all these complex issues of government neglect and inaction/failure to carry out legislation/corruption, environmental degradation/shantytowns/people living on piles of rubbish in permanent “survival mode” and complete neglect, no social services, no health care, nothing from the state/everyone fend for themselves and the increasing population and traffic.

    I’m hoping that with the global economic turmoil, the talks/possibilities of eco-tourism and reverse brain drain (I’m seriously hoping a reverse brain drain happens within SL, with remigration back to the provinces and rural parts) and projects like We Own things start to turn around

    On a lighter note, a former classmate of mine, Alimatu has been making films and soaps

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