Africa’s brightest young thinkers and musicians come together at the Gatwitch Festival to discuss how the continent can overcome histories of violence.
In early December 2010, Cultures of Resistance traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to film at the first annual Gatwitch Festival. Organized by international hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal—who as a boy was coerced into serving as a child soldier—Gatwitch brings together artists and intellectuals from Africa and abroad to put forward a positive message about the potential of the continent’s people. Ishmael Beah, also a former child soldier and best-selling author of A Long Way Gone, suggests that "there have been a lot of misperceptions about who we are and what people are capable of from this continent." Part of the festival's strategy is to show to young people that even in the face of terrible odds, Africans like Jal and Beah have gone on to garner international recognition for their artistic talents. This short film documents the exciting discussion that took place at Gatwitch and the sense of hope that emerged.