"Looking Closer": Unveiling Current & Cultural Affairs
Uncovering West African narratives through Media for Peace: Xchange Perspectives e.V. (XcP) and several West African organisations collaborate to produce 14 short films addressing current and cultural affairs while emphasising the value of peaceful storytelling.
A participant in the International Training of Trainers workshop in Koforidua, Ghana.
Photo: YMCA Ghana
MUNICH – In 2022, Xchange Perspectives e.V. (XcP) joined efforts with Weltfilme e. V., NAEAL Liberia, SLADEA Sierra Leone, Cinéma Numérique Ambulant (CNA) Togo, University of The Gambia, and YMCA Ghana to implement the "Looking Closer" project. Supported by the German Federal Government, the initiative aimed to explore current and cultural affairs in West Africa through the lens of Media for Peace.
Dominik Lehnert from XcP played a crucial role in the project, training film trainers from Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana in Media for Peace principles. These values – Unity, Diversity, Transcendence, Empathy, and Commitment – guided the project's storytelling approach. Dominik also provided guidance during the finalisation of the films, ensuring the incorporation of Media for Peace values.
After their training, the film trainers became educators, passing on their knowledge to a new generation of filmmakers in their respective countries. They taught dozens of young people filmmaking skills in cinematography, sound, editing, and Media for Peace principles. Together, they produced 14 short feature films and documentaries covering, for example, migration, domestic violence, sexual abuse, political rivalry, and polarisation.
The films premiered in several countries, reaching broad audiences through Mobile Cinema tours, national TV broadcasts, and online platforms. This project strengthened the local film and media sector and opened up better career opportunities for those involved, particularly those who would otherwise be unable to afford training.
By sharing these compelling film messages, "Looking Closer" reaches millions of people in the region and beyond, showcasing the power of storytelling and Media for Peace in promoting understanding and change in West Africa.