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Native Storytellers: Seen it/Scene It

30 November & 1 December

Institute of African Studies / Department of Archaeology & Heritage Studies

University of Ghana

Benpaali poster 2017.png
Ebo Whyte.jpg

Photos top to bottom: 1) Uncle Ebo Whyte, Roverman Productions - 2) audience member exploring animation in workshop led by Comfort Arthur - 3) Rebecca Hesse & Peter Sedufia with awardees Caleb Otoo & Omar Owusu

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2017 awardees w Rebecca-Peter

As human beings we share one global space, regardless of our age, race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, immigrant status or abilities. Borders do not protect us from being displaced or without clean water due to the effects of mining in Ghana, encroachment on indigenous land in the US, or other impacts made by human decision. Land provides life to all people, everywhere. Artists are witnesses to these dynamics and through storytelling can express their unique observations.

For our 3rd annual festival, young artists (ages 15-30) submitted short films inspired by the theme ​Native Storytellers: Seen it/Scene It and by these questions:

  • What if you saw yourself as 'native' to land or place as a way to think about your relationship to others?

  • What would you notice?

  • What would you care about? What would you stand and fight for?

  • What is your story?


The festival was open to topics of cultural heritage and memory, the environment, and/or social and political issues. We accepted live action or documentary, animated or fiction films by trained and self-taught artists. Whether true or imagined, real or visionary, their stories reminded us of our right, power and responsibility to speak out on issues that affect how and how well we live. 

2017 Festival Awardees

Kwame Nkrumah Award for Visionary CreativityOmar Owusu, Blood Deceit

Yaa Asantewaa Award for Blazing New PathsDavid Dotse, Coping

Theodosia Okoh Award for National Unity - Caleb Otoo, Reality Check

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