It’s worth clicking on this link, to see Afripedia’s awesome website. It’ll “welcome you to creativity” and get you wanting more. Afripedia, created by Teddy Goitom, Senay Berhe and Benjamin Taft, is an offshoot of Stocktown Films. The introductory scenes that express our uniquely African energy attracted our interest, so we got hold of Teddy to find out what it’s all about.
“Afripedia started because of the lack of information on inspiring African creatives,” he explains. The aim was to create a visual guide of African creative work that would connect worldwide.
Afripedia is similar to Stocktown (an online curated video magazine) in that it highlights and shares interesting culture and art to a wider audience. Afripedia, however, (as the name suggests) focuses on broadcasting creative work from the African continent, including videos as well as images, music and literature.
“When Africa is changing, when the world is changing and the perspective is shifting, the image of Africa and Africans needs to change too. Afripedia is promoting and collaborating with a new generation of storytellers leading the way. First to launch from Afripedia is a five-part documentary series portraying artists and creatives like kuduro superstar Titica, wordsmith genius Nástio Mosquito, producer MC Sacerdote and 3D animator Andrew Kaggia. Premiere on Swedish television and Afripedia.com later this year. Initiated by Stocktown Films, Afripedia is very much a collaborative project. Editors, curators, users, creatives and artists will be doing this together.” (afripedia.com)
It took “too long” to produce, says Teddy, having started the process back in 2008. The team began their project by travelling to Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Between 2009 and 2013, they worked to find supportive funding which, once finalised, allowed them to produce new material in Ghana and continue their research in Angola, Kenya, Senegal and Ivory Coast. They focused on finding and filming people who were “do-it-yourself” creatives who had strong vision and an inspiring story to tell.
Their journey was guided by online research, networked contacts and luck. Teddy elaborates; “For example, we were contacted by a local Angolan production company, Geracao 80, who had seen our previous work and asked if we wanted to pass by Angola to do a co-production. We said of course, “hell yeah!””
So far, 5 captivating episodes have been released and we look forward for more to come. Teddy and his team are busy producing a new North African episode which is set for release next year. They’re also working on a feature length documentary which will be ready in 2016. They’re still in the process of building the Afripedia platform and forum “but if you are interested,” says Teddy, “please sign up on afripedia.com for further notice.”
The series aims to generate a deeper understanding of Africa’s creative culture as “we can connect wherever it is found,” believes Teddy.