Though there may not have been a red carpet or champagne bottles popped, but Racialicious and National Black Programming Consortium’s (NBPC) AfroPoP.TV celebrated the PBS premiere of Jarreth Merz’s An African Election in fine live-tweeting style.
We had a lively interaction with not only WGBH’s Celeste Headlee and the panelists— including director Jarreth Merz, multimedia broadcaster/commentator Derrick Ashong, VivirLatino owner and Univision writer Maegan Ortiz, and commentators Lenny McAllister and Stacy Washington—thanks to our many tweeters, like commentator Scot Nakagawa, the R’s Tami Winfrey Harris, writer Kenyon Farrow, and scholar Dr. Regina Bradley.
Then, the movie started and the comments flowed.
And we Storified the event for posterity! Check out what folks said during the panel discussion and the movie here.
A bouquet of gratitude to everyone who supported the buzz for last night’s premiere!
— Journalist Kwesi Pratt, on the what democracy means to Ghanaians without material gains for the voters, from Jarreth Merz’s documentary, An African Election. (via africanelection)
— Hannah Tetteh, NDC spokesperson, speaking on what the Ghana’s 2008 election meant and still means. (via africanelection)
— Jarreth Merz, director of An African Election, in a 6/15/12 interview with Mac-Jordan Degadjor on what motivated him to do the documentary. (via africanelection)
Soundbite Culture: You’ve said An African Election began because of questions you had about your own identity. What were they?
Jarreth Merz: One of them was “Why do I see myself as a cliché?” As an actor, I’d ask why am I cast as a terrorist or something exotic? Why am I not cast as something regular and normal? Is it because I am abnormal? What is it?
There’s a lot of doubt within who I am. We all go through that process. They say when you hit 40 you reach a mid life crisis, but for me I think it was more like an identity crisis. I just realised that I was in denial of my African heritage because of all the bad examples we hear about Africa. Or the clichés; everything is so colourful, you dance so well, you’re very chocolaty.
So this was something that motivated me to go back to where I grew up, which was Ghana. To have a closer look and see where I came from and where I grew up. Why was I happy then and oblivious to all this crap going on about colour or identity, and why had I become so wounded? I had to confront my demons and take a look at that. So I went back to Ghana and I was looking for a new reality."
— An African Election's director Jarreth Merz, on how he made the personal into his documentary on the politics around Ghana's 2008 election. The rest of the excerpt is here, and check out the rest of the interview here.
An African Election director Jarreth Merz on what democracy means and the democratic process itself in Ghana, Africa, and the US. (via africanelection)
Racialicious is thrilled to partner with National Black Programming Consortium (the creative folks bringing Black Folk Don’t and Ask A Muslim to the internet) for this documentary’s public-media debut on October 1, 2012. We’re looking forward to on- and offline convos about the 2008 election in Ghana, democracy, colonialism, policy, and trans-Atlantic implications for the 2012 US election. Join us!