‘I am Malawi’ is a short documentary by Geert Veuskens and Pieter de Vos. (Part 1 above, part 2 below.) Veuskens gave us some more details about their project:
We shot the images for the documentary in May-June 2010 in and around Lilongwe. Working with artists like Mandela ’3rd Eye’ Mwanza, Dominic ‘Dominant 1′ Sangalakula, Qabaniso ‘Q’ Malewezi, Peter Mawanga, Waliko Makhala and Lucius Banda, this film aims to tell a story about identity, ‘pride’ and uprising in a globalized world. Although ‘pride’ is a word that I don’t like all that much, I don’t really have an alternative for it either. It is suggested in the film, but it mainly refers to the dependence on foreign aid and to the awareness of the people I worked with that historically many things have happened that created a personal discomfort they now try to break. In fact, the film is also structured in this way. The first part tells the story of how they perceive foreign aid and dependency. The second part tells how the artists search for ‘artistic’ solutions. Each in their own way. The artists, all from different backgrounds, talk about their country, their history and their search for an identity that can stand out in the global community.
While doing research for the film, we particularly looked on facebook for Malawian organizations focusing on media and art. Through these organizations, we got in touch with the artists. The story slowly began to take shape and we continued the conversation when we met up with them in Malawi. The artists we chose to feature are on the one hand people who sought for a style elsewhere (the hip-hop duo ‘Dominant 1′ and ’3rd Eye’) and, on the other hand, people that return to their cultural heritage, picking up traditional instruments again.
We wanted to work with these artists to achieve a concrete exchange of ideas, visions, identity, politics and culture.
Here’s part 2:
Also worth watching is the music video that comes with the documentary and another short video Veuskens created for and about ‘Rhythm Of Life’, a UK registered organization working in the Malawian music industry (“supporting and facilitating the growth of the creative industries”).