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A Tactical Media Lab at ZIFF:
Report on the Zanzibar TML by Todd Lester

Greetings from Tanzania -- I just wanted to share the preliminary report from the Zanzibar Tactical Media Lab -- additional information and pictures will show up on the Zanzibar link in the coming days
-- all the best, Todd Lester


In environs such as Zanzibar and throughout the region, production of tactical media requires appropriation and the innovative layering of older, traditional media with an understanding outlook to available media in other parts of the world. With this in mind, ZIFF highlights the following tactical media workshops, dialogues and exhibitions included within its broader programming. This TML was held over a period of two weeks (June 28 - July 12) in historic Stonetown and throughout the villages of Zanzibar.

ZIFF aims to consolidate the East African linkage where Kiswahili is a commonly used language. ZIFF seeks to nurture an awareness of the Dhow region and the historical and cultural interaction that has shaped the cultural memory of its peoples. ZIFF sees its role as foregrounding the significance that the Dhow symbolizes for contemporary discussions on globalization and its ramifications.


Bongo Toons Cartoons and Comics in Tanzania (5 July)
This all new virtual exhibit of Tanzanian cartoons, the first of its kind, was launched as a part of the Zanzibar International Film Festival and Tactical Media Lab by Africaserver chairperson Maarten Rens and a representative, Fred Halla, of PACT (Popular Association of Cartoonists in Tanzania). Bongo Toons is available in English and Dutch languages, while the cartoons are also displayed in Kiswahili. Four of the artists attended the launch. The lively website, designed in the fashion of a Tanzanian tabloid, is regularly updated by the cartoonists with new and unpublished work. Bongo Toons consists of the following sections:
- Cartoonist exposed: over 200 cartoons on display, plus biographies of the participating cartoonists - Bonda, Fred Halla, Kijasti, King Kinya, Lydia Paul, Masoud Junior, Masoud Kipanya, Micky Junior, Nick Mtui, Popa and Thabit Maiga;
- Hot off the Press: regular additions of new cartoons by the cartoonists themselves, directly from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
- Bizarre: 33 animated cartoons
- The beginning - how it all started: a history of cartoons and comics in Tanzania
- Meet the celebs: Learn more about today is popular comic characters
The new generation of Tanzanian cartoonists reaches a large audience with their daily and weekly funny and critical cartoons, which comment on Tanzanian and African "Big Men", economy, local and global developments, women's rights and the "war on terrorism". Tanzania has a long tradition of comic strips being published in monthly magazines, with a distinct drawing style being developed by pioneers such as the late Philip Ndunguru in the 1980s. While many of today's Tanzanian comic magazines work according to this tradition, the political cartoonists often prefer to draw in the individual styles.
This online exhibition was produced by Africaserver Foundation in cooperation with PACT. Bongo Toons is the latest release in a series of fifteen virtual exhibitions in the Virtual Museum of Contemporary African Art. The website was partly sponsored by HIVOS, the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation in the Netherlands. www.africaserver.nl

Indigenous Peoples and Environment
Among the many films shown during the 6th Zanzibar International Film Festival, some fuelled a dialogue on pertinent issues regarding locality and global flows, tourism and genetic engineering/modification:
People Live There - Usambara Encounters (Karolina Bergstrom / Thyra Brandt / Anna Harding) deals in an easy going way with the do's and don'ts of everyday tourism. Based in the Usambara Mountains in northern Tanzania, the filmmakers explore the relationship between locals and tourists, and whether both groups can benefit from tourism. We hear the opinions of both locals and tourists, on such matters as respect, colonialism and whether to walk with or without a guide. The film focuses on Martha, a potter from Sweden that meets some local women who are also potters. They work together and get to know each other without speaking the same language. The film aims to inspire and encourage discussions on tourism, and how it can develop in a sustainable way so that both locals and tourists can benefit.
The Leech and the Earthworm (Max Pugh and Marc Silver) is a visual and musical journey into the views of indigenous peoples on Western science - its vision of a genetically engineered future and its deep links with corporate profits, globalization and colonization. Structured to reflect themed "tracks" on a music album, the film combines passionate critiques of our potential futures and living alternatives to a globalized monoculture with music and visuals from around the world (New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the South Pacific). The Leech and the Earthworm takes its audience on a journey into truths they might think disappeared long ago, inspiring them to ask serious questions of the collective illusion we call "progress".
Dreaming of Motion is the well-received program of five short indigenous filmmakers. An initiative of the Indigenous Unit of the Australian Film Commission, the film includes FLAT (Beck Cole), MIMI (Warwick Thornton) and BLACK TALK (Wayne Blair).
One Night the Moon (Rachel Perkins) tells of a young girl in rural Australia, drawn by the moon, climbs out of her window to follow its light. When her parents check on their sleeping child, she is nowhere to be found. Based on the true 1930s story of Aboriginal tracker Riley, this musical drama poignantly interweaves the perspectives of the father who refuses to let the tracker onto "his land" and the tracker who is led by the land.
Textile Design Workshop (June 29 -July 2) Through a series of workshops Farouque Abdellah, acclaimed Zanzibari designer, shared his experiences and skills in African design, using local fabric and techniques such as batik, to enhance the skills and knowledge of local designers and dressmakers. Special emphasis was placed on the khanga, situating it within the context of the dhow region's rich cultural heritage; its origins, history and meaning; its uses and means of expression.

UAACC (June 28 - July 12)
This year the United African Alliance Community Centre (UAACC) brought selected work by the following artists. Adrian Mwaikambo, who has served as head art instructor at UAACC for more than two years, comes from the southern part of Tanzania in Mbeya Region. As an artist and teacher Adrian works with acrylic painting, fine art, drawing; batik painting; clay sculpture, wood carving and cement casting. Ali Mhina has been working at UAACC as a volunteer art teacher for more than two years. Ali comes from the Tanga region and is a very active artist, actor, dancer and musician. Ali, aka Mjuga Kamtoto, plays an integral part in the HIV/AIDS team that works in mobilisation and education within the community. Charlotte Hill O'Neal is a Resident Artist and Programs Director of the UAACC.


Workshop: Swahili Culture vs. Dhow Culture, In Search of a Musical & Verbal Aesthetic of the Indian Ocean World (2-3 July)
The musical experiences of Zanzibar and the Swahili coast - centuries of musical exchange apparent in genres like the Comorian gambusi or the East African taarab - beg the question of the specificity of island, coastal or sea musics, and of a particular aesthetic of the Indian Ocean world. Thus, if we conceive of this as a particular musico-ecological space, is there something like a musical correlate to the concept of a dhow culture?
We envisage an approach that moves beyond an analysis of genres directly linked to the sea but rather an outline of the distinct musical and aesthetic correlates of larger scale historical processes that may be thematized around the seas.
The discussion centered around the specific musical experiences apparent from genres in coastal Madagascar, Comoros, the East African Coast, the Gulf Countries, the Makran Coast (Iran/Pakistan), the Western Indian Coast, Malaysia and Indonesia.
While Swahili culture is a more or less viable concept, dhow culture is a more nebulous notion. The aim was to get to more specific conceptualization and definition of dhow culture, of a particular maritime ethos, as portrayed and defined by the musical and verbal aesthetics of musics around the Indian Ocean.
- Preservation and documentation of the verbal aesthetics of Swahili poetry
- Taarab poetry in relation to Dhow Culture
- Early music exchanges between East Africa, the Comoros, Arabia, South Asia and South-East Asia
Music and Freedom Of Expression (July 7)
This seminar was designed to make Tanzanian musicians aware of their basic rights according to Article 19, on freedom of expression and discuss the effects of music censorship through presentation from speakers Marit Flo Jorgensen, Roger Lucey (South Africa) and John Kitime (Tanzania). Musicians and artists primarily from Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland shared experiences and gain knowledge of music censorship from their respective regions. The seminar was organized with collaboration from FREEMUSE (Denmark).


East African Filmmakers" Forum (Monday 30 June)
This forum brought together filmmakers from the East Africa region to discuss regional cooperation and co-production opportunities and to establish a regional network of professional organizations and individuals. The East Africa region has many advantages for a unified approach. There is popular demand for film and television programs in the common language, Kiswahili. The workshop provided an opportunity to focus on the specific issues of concern to East African filmmakers and to thereby enhance cooperation. Presentations were made by both independent filmmakers and the Tanzanian Communications Commission; participants lobbied the Commission to evolve from a regulatory body to a promotional one.

Strategies for Producing for Film and Television (1-3 July)
This three-day workshop was created to facilitate the exchange of experiences in producing for film and television; to discuss the challenges and opportunities to raising production finance; and to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for East African Filmmakers.
- Film and Television Financing Policy
- Comparative Experiences between African and Asia
- Production and Broadcasting
- Sithengi 2002 Consensus Statement on the Imperative to Engage African Governments and AU on the African Film and Television Industry in the Context of the NEPAD Initiative ***

Exhibitors Encounter / Zanzibari Young Artists
Association (5 July)
Local artists had the opportunity to communicate their issues and concerns with members of the administration of the Zanzibar International Film Festival in order that good working relations should continue for the next editions of the festival.

Women and Globalisation: Deepening Disparities? (June 30 / Stonetown; July 3 / Chake District, Pemba; July 12 / Makunduchi)
A one day seminar took place in both Unguja and Pemba, to address the diverse effects of globalisation on women, both the positive and negative, and the opportunities and challenges that arise as a result of these at local, national and global levels. This seminar provided a platform for raising awareness amongst women of the digital revolution and its potential as a tool for achieving gender equality. The women participants explored the implications of using ICT in supporting their various causes and in building alliances with other women.
Women and the Challenges Of Tradition (July 2 / Kiwengwa; July 5-6 / Stonetown; July 7 / Pemba). This event was divided into three workshops under the general theme of Women and the Challenges of Tradition. - In Stone Town the discussion centered around Kim Longinoto"s most recent film The Day I Will Never Forget, concerning the complex issues surrounding female circumcision. The film was used as an entry point to explore notions of tradition and the challenges that traditions such as female circumcision pose to women. - The workshops taking place in rural Unguja and Pemba used Sabiha Sumar's film Don't Ask Why following the journey of a Pakistani girl into womanhood as she defines her position as a girl in relation to a patriarchal family, religion and society. The film provided a space for women in rural areas to examine their own gendered positions and roles in the Zanzibari context and the challenges that arise as a result of these. These discussions aimed to stimulate creative thinking in seeking alternatives to present circumstances and inspiring a pro-active stance in reconciling cultural taboos.
Women In the Movies: Envisioning Potential (July 1-2 /
Stonetown; July 6 / Ukongoroni village)
Both professional media practitioners and those who have not yet been exposed to current media technology were encouraged to participate in this forum, which was facilitated by women producers, directors and animators. This two-day workshop was intended to create a dialogue between women of different backgrounds in media, exploring experiences and challenges stemming from that involvement. Alternative solutions to barriers encountered will be explored. Women unfamiliar with new media technology were encouraged to explore positive ways of utilizing new media technology and traditional media in order to advocate on different women's issues. On the second day participants were engaged by women filmmakers in creating a visual story as a practical introduction to the technique of writing women's stories for the screen. ***

Environment Workshop On Coral Reef (June 29 - July 8)This CORAL REEF workshop was especially designed for selected schools along the seashore. It explored: -What are coral reefs? - What is their geographical and economical the importance? - What factors contribute to their destruction? - What effects does destruction have?
Hardtalk (June 30 - July 10)
HARDTALK provided an opportunity for youth and parents to discuss their views on sensitive issues concerning their lives and relationship.
Newsletter workshop (Desktop Publishing) (June 30 -July 14)
Through this activity young people were challenged to publish two editions of a newsletter about the festival/TML called "The Children's Voice". It offered instruction in news writing, desktop publishing, computer usage and seeking information on the internet.
Story Writing and Animation (June 30 - July 6)
The STORY WRITING AND ANIMATION workshop provided an opportunity for children to develop their writing skills and introduces them to the world of animation. Animation filmmaker, Agness Hey, facilitated this workshop along with local artists. The theme that was decided upon was the promotion of girls education.***
Sebasti„o Salgado - A selection from Exodus (June 28 -
July 12)
These images from the Exodus exhibition are the first in Africa for the Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Ribeiro Salgado. He is quoted as saying "What I want in my pictures is not that they'll look like art objects - They are journalist pictures. All my pictures. No exceptions." His work is varied and thought provoking and has covered subjects such as famine in the Sahel region of Africa; the end of large-scale manual labor; forced migration at the end of the twentieth century; and the global campaign to eradicate polio. He has been awarded over 50international awards from countries such as France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. He has also been named Photographer of the Year on two occasions by the International Center of Photography in New York. Born in Aimores, M.G., Brazilin 1944, Salgado studied economics in both Sao Paulo and Paris, and worked from 1968 to 1973 as an economist in both Brazil and England.
Tanzanian Press Photographers - A Day in the Life of Zanzibar (June 28 - July 12)
A Day in the Life of Zanzibar is a photography exhibition by 15 Tanzanian press photographers who took part in a 4-day photography workshop in October 2002. The Netherlands Embassy, in collaboration with the World Press Photo of the Netherlands, have funded the workshop, aimed at strengthening the skills and technical capacity of local photographers. Under the tutorship of Juda Ngwenya, Reuters Chief-Photographer for Southern Africa, photographers were sent on a field trip to Zanzibar with an assignment to depict daily life in Zanzibar, on that particular day, 23rd October 2002. The Embassy has organised such workshops and exhibitions for two years running, under the coordination of Flame Tree Media Trust. For the first time this year, a competition was also introduced to conclude the workshop. The photographs seen at this exhibition were the selected photographs submitted to this contest, which were first exhibited in January 2003 at the Alliance FranÁaise, Dar es Salaam. The Netherlands Embassy hopes to make a contribution to the development of photojournalism in the country by conducting workshops and exhibitions such as these. By promoting the work of photographers it is hoped that the quality and perception of press photography in Tanzania will change.
Uli Malisius - Everyday Life in Tanzania (June 28 -
July 12)
Everyday Life in Tanzania is an exhibition of portraits of Tanzanian citizens operating in their socio-economic and cultural milieu by the Norwegian photographer Ulrich Malisius. Ulrich has lived in Tanzania for seven years and uses his work to explore the semantics of The Image. This exhibition explores how Tanzanians see themselves in contrast to how the dominant hegemony of the west perceives them. The exhibition works to explore the notion of "quality of life" as opposed to "standard of living"; the notions of development and underdevelopment as well as promoting inter-cultural understanding, exchange and the recognition of shared qualities of humanity.
Jacqueline Kalimunda (Rwanda)
Magda Abdi (Ethiopia)
Chaiba Kombo (Tanzania)
Wanjiru Kinyanjui (Kenya)
Ogova Odengo (Kenya)
Eric Kabera (Rwanda)
Anand Patwardhan (India)
Michael Auret (South Africa)
Kenji Shiraishi (Japan)
Peter Rorvick (South Africa)
Kim Longinoto (UK)
Fleur Dissel (Netherlands)
Richard Green (South Africa)
Judy Kibinge (Kenya)
Munier Parker (South Africa)
Shane Mohabier (South Africa)
Bridget Thompson (South Africa)
Abdulkadir Said (South Africa)
Maarten Rens ((Netherlands)
Abderrahmnane Sissako (Mauritania)
Barbara Orton (Scotland)
Karolina Bergstrom (Sweden)
Thyra Brandt (Sweden)
Anna Harding (Sweden)
Agness Hey (UK)

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Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Australia
Foundation Africaserver, the Netherlands
The Gauteng Film Office, South Africa
Sithengi, The Southern African International Film & Television Market Initiative, Capetown
Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), South Africa
African Union Film Festival
Freemuse: The World Forum on Music and Censorship
Rwanda Cinema Center
The 4th Edition of African Television Programmes
Market (MAP-TV), Kenya
Ukweli Video Productions, Kenya
Alwan Communications Limited, Kenya
Tokyo African Film Festival / African Visual Forum, Japan
African Cinema Fund
Kenya Film & TV / Kenya Professional Association
Kenya National Film Association
Tanzania Independent Producers Association
Televisheni ya Taifa (TVT), Tanzania
Radio France International (RFI)
University of Ghent
TV Zanzibar
Embassy of France, Regional Audiovisual AttachÈ
Embassy of Germany
Free University of Berlin
University of Dar es Salaam
Afrika Film Festival Leuven, Belgium
National Motion Picture Development Commission, Tanzania
The Express Reporter, Tanzania
Daily News, Tanzania
TV Tanzania
TV Africa, South Africa
East African Newspaper, Kenya
Artmatters, Kenya
TrueTV & Film, UK
Abantu Visions, Tanzania
Zanzibar Leo
Zanzibar Broadcasting Commission
Signis, The World Catholic Association for Communications