How Kipepeo Films Empowers African Communities Through Art and Movies: An Interview with Clotilde Bertet

Learn about Kipepeo Films and how they make an impact.

Kipepeo films is a French-Tanzanian organisation which creates artistic and educative workshops with various local partners and produces independent and creative audio-visual content. 

To understand more on their work and contribution, Youth Time interviews Clotilde Bertet, who is in charge of the audio-visual program manager for Kipepeo films.

During the interview, she also sheds light into their recent work on tackling gender-discrimination, together with Rafiki NGO.

In this piece, we will see how Kipepeo films empowers local communities in African countries through art and movies. 

Although they are still a small team of volunteers, they have already conducted several workshops in Tanzania, Chad and France, and their will for positive change stands as an extraordinary example of what youth people are capable of when coming together to make their voices heard.

 

From the Beginning to Todays’ Successes

Starting our conversation, Bertet recalls the inspiration behind this idea and how it’s all going so far.

Kipepeo was born in 2015 following an international solidarity project that we led with two friends. The project? To lead photo and video workshops with a group of children in the small town of Bagamoyo, Tanzania.”

She further elaborates that she knew a little bit about this country.

“I had done my internship there at the end of my studies. I met people who were very motivated to set up educational and artistic projects but with no means to achieve them.”

She was also sensitive to the attraction of the children for the arts (dance, singing, acrobatics, etc.), in particular in Bagamoyo which is a very artistic city-it even has a school of art recognized in the country. 

Hence, she thought that this was an excellent way to make them aware of some of the country’s problems.

“It was a great opportunity to open them up to the world and to other art forms as well, to give them technical skills and to reinforce their abilities.”, she adds.

The project grew and they set up their association Kipepeo Films- which offers access to culture for all by developing educational and audio-visual workshops with various local partners and helping to produce independent and creative audio-visual works. 

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Movie Workshops and Documentary Filmmaking

One of the most crucial projects of Kipepeo film is the Movie Workshops and Documentary Filmmaking. 

Speaking about this, Bertet explains that for them art, and in particular cinema, is an ideal tool to develop self-esteem, teamwork, critical thinking, etc.

“The workshops we organize are worked from a theme related to the problems of local development of the place where we act: waste treatment, entrepreneurship, gender.”

They also organize purely playful activities with the children, for the simple pleasure of playing and having fun (sports activities, stop-motion, scavenger hunt).

This allows them to get to know us better and to gain their trust; she says.

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Tackling Gender-Discrimination 

Recently, and for the first time, Kipepeo is collaborating with Rafiki NGO on a project of educational and audio-visual workshops on the theme of gender discrimination. 

Here, Bertet explains the importance of this project and what it aims to achieve.

“We know Rafiki NGO since the very beginning of its creation: our two associations were born in the same place, in Bagamoyo, and have at heart to help the emancipation of the children by the art.” 

Worth mentioning that the Kipepeo films association contributed financially to the construction of the Rafiki centre, and they wanted to organize video workshops together. 

“The workshops we just completed focused on gender and in particular the place of girls in Tanzanian society and the possible discriminations and difficulties they may face.”

“We did not have any ready-made solutions to bring them. But we wanted, in agreement with Rafiki NGO, to think with children about the problems that Tanzanian girls live in their daily life, to make them discover extraordinary African women’s journeys and finally to give them a voice to write and tell their own story!”

Through games, watching short films in Swahili, readings, taking testimonies, they thought together about writing another story. 

“For this, we based ourselves on an old Swahili tale that we completely rewrote and adapted! And we made a movie out of it! It is called: Binti Sofia anapenda kuku (Princess Sofia loves chicken).”

According to her, it was a huge challenge because they worked with a group of about 40 children aged between 8 to 17! 

“But we are very proud of the work they have done and their commitment.”

The premier took place on Saturday, December 18 at the Rafiki Centre’s annual event.

Then, this short movie will be released both locally and internationally.

It will be shown during the annual festival organized in Bagamoyo by Rafiki Centre in mid-December. 

If you affiliate with the organisation’s values and what to support them, please click HERE to donate to the Kipepeo films.  

But you can also help us by simply subscribing to their Facebook and/or Instagram page to discover the children’s short films and share them with others! 


Learn about more youth activism around the globe.

Nawal Haider Butt: A 15-Year-Old Activist Making Her Mark in Pakistan


 

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